AN actor will swap the West End stage for Bolton to play Shakespeare's greatest tragic prince.

David Ricardo-Pearce has been cast in the title role for the Octagon Theatre's forthcoming production of Hamlet.

It marks another outing for the Bard in Bolton, following last year's production of The Winter's Tale.

David comes to the town following a recent run of The Lorax in London's Old Vic theatre, as the voice and puppeteer of Dr Suess's famous critter.

He also starred as Oberon and Theseus in Barbican international tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the lead role in Alfie in 2012 and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet in 2011, both at the Octagon.

He said: "It is always a joy to work at the Octagon, and I’m especially excited that I’m returning during the theatre’s 50th anniversary season.

"I am really looking forward to sharing Shakespeare’s Hamlet with the people of Bolton and to working with David Thacker again."

Joining David will be Jessica Baglow as Ophelia following her performance in the Octagon's Educating Rita.

Margot Leicester, who recently played Paulina in The Winter’s Tale, returns as Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, while Brian Protheroe, who starred in The Merchant of Venice and Othello at the RSC, will play the murderous uncle Claudius.

John Branwell, Claire Hackett, Michael Peavoy, Eric Potts, Kiruna Stamell, Mitesh Soni, Anna Tierney and, making her Octagon debut, Leah Walker, will also star in the production about trust, loyalty, and one man’s struggle to control his destiny.

Director David Thacker said: "Hamlet is the perfect play to celebrate the Octagon's fiftieth anniversary.

"I'm thrilled to be working with such talented actors and creative artists as we seek to bring this wonderful play alive for the Octagon's audiences.

"I'd like our production to allow Hamlet to speak afresh for people who have seen the play many times before and be a compelling and thrilling experience for the many people who have never seen it.

"Most of all, I hope people will grab the opportunity of seeing the most famous play ever written - and perhaps Shakespeare's greatest."

Hamlet is being stage in production by the Octagon Theatre and the University of Bolton and runs from February 15 to March 10. To book visit