Star Wars actor John Boyega is to play Georg Büchner’s murdering military barber in the Old Vic’s newly announced stage production of Woyzeck.

The 24 year old actor from Peckham, South London first came to prominence in the low-budget sci-fi film Attack The Block, and has since become an international star as Finn in JJ Abrams’ rebooted Star Wars franchise. Woyzeck will mark is Old Vic debut.

Büchner’s Woyzeck, unfinished on his death in 1837 and first published in 1879, is widely regarded as the first “modern” drama. It is based on the true story of a military barber who stabbed to death his mistress in a fit of jealousy and was sentenced to death in 1821.

Joe Murphy will direct a new version by multi-award winning play-wright Jack Thorne who will breathe new life into Woyzeck, creating for our time what Büchner intended for his: an unforgettable howl of rage.

The work is far more than a study of violence prompted by sexual rage. Michael Billington of the Guardian wrote “In Büchner’s fragmented scenes it becomes something else altogether. A naturalistic tragedy, a damning social critique, a lower-class King Lear, a debate on free will and determinism.”

Woyzeck will run from 25 February 2017 until 15 April 2017 at the Old Vic Theatre.

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