A CELEBRATED actor is making a return to a historic theatre after a two-century gap.

The Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond will stage The Dramatic Exploits of Edmund Kean, performed as a one-man show by award-winning Royal Shakespeare Company actor Ian Hughes.

Following years of hardship as a strolling player, Kean became the most popular actor of his day, entertaining audiences with his performances in Shakespeare.

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In Richmond, he performed with Samuel Butler’s company – who built the Richmond theatre in 1788 – at some point between 1808 and 1812, playing parts such as a Walking Gentleman, Harlequin and Octavian in Colman’s Mountaineers.

Butler spotted his talent and paid for his stage coach ticket to take a job in London.

Years later, Kean repaid Butler’s kindness by returning to star for a few nights with the company in Richmond and Northallerton.

The play will be performed at 7.30pm on Sunday, March 4.

Tickets start at £8, and are available from the Box Office on 01748 825252 or via the online booking service at www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk