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Sherlock's Martin Freeman to star as Richard III on London stage

Actor will play Shakespeare's tragic hero in July

Sherlock star Martin Freeman will play his first Shakespearean role as Richard III on the London stage this summer.

The actor follows in the footsteps of his co-star Benedict Cumberbatch, who was confirmed to play Hamlet on the London stage earlier this month.

Freeman will play the Machiavellian monarch from July through till September at Trafalgar Studios in Whitehall, the Daily Mail reports.

Tickets for Richard III are expected to go on sale in the next seven to ten days.

Director Jamie Lloyd is said to be still casting other roles for Richard III.

Freeman was last on stage at the Royal Court in Bruce Norris’ play Clybourne Park in 2010.

The 42-year-old rose to fame in The Office as disgruntled paper merchant worker Tim Canterbury, before appearing in Love Actually and Shaun of the Dead.

More recently he has starred as Biblo Baggins in The Hobbit film franchise, and Dr John Watson in the hit BBC drama series Sherlock.

Freeman will play his Shakespearean tragic hero before Sherlock co-star Cumberbatch, who will appear as Hamlet at The Barbican in August 2015.