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2/12/2012 11:29:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square, London, has made Matt Smith a patron of its Young Writers' Festival. The event, running from 23rd February to 14th April, showcases promising talent from young British playwrights. Smith's first professional acting job was at the Royal Court in Fresh Kills by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, as part of its 2004 young playwrights' season. Catherine Tate, Ruth Jones and Kathy Burke (who had an uncredited role in Terminus early on in her career) are previous festival patrons. [The Stage, 10 Feb 2012]

Christopher Eccleston will play Creon in the National Theatre's production of Antigone. The tragedy by Sophocles opens at the Olivier Theatre on 30th May (previews from 23rd May) and runs until 20th June. Tickets go on sale to the general public on 15th February, with some seats costing as little as £12. [The Stage, 10 Feb 2012]

When asked if she'd return to the Doctor Who world as Ace, Sophie Aldred said: "It would be very nice to go back. Doctor Who is one of those things that stays with you throughout your career and I'm very happy with that. So, I'd love to do it again on TV but she'd have to be played by this strange middle-aged married woman with two children." [Independent, 8 Feb 2012]

John Barrowman and his sister Carole have been on the promotion circuit for their new book, Hollow Earth. Talking about writing, John said: "I'm not the writer, Carole is. The way we work is that we brainstorm the ideas, come up with plot lines and talk about characters, while she takes notes. Once we have done that, she goes and writes them down and hands me a chunk of pages, which I will either say are perfect or we will work on changes. It's a true collaboration." [Daily Record, 7 Feb 2012]

Catrin Stewart (Jenny, A Good Man Goes To War) is appearing as Juliet in Richard Icke's imagining of the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, until 18th February: "It was quite difficult at first because I have not done Shakespeare before. But the longer you do it you start feel it. The language feels part of me now rather than being a distraction. While I do feel nervous about performing it, I am now in love with it. After a while you can make the language sound natural for the audience." [Basingstoke Observer, 8 Feb 2012]

Tom Ellis (Thomas Milligan, Last of the Time Lords), Pooky Quesnel (Captain, A Christmas Carol) and Christine Bottomley (Margaret Hopley, Torchwood: A Day In The Death) are among the cast members announced for the pre-recorded dramas that will form part of BBC One's contemporary retelling of the Passion story The Preston Passion, which will air on Good Friday (6th April). [BBC Media Centre, 8 Feb 2012]

When asked if he'd be interested in playing the Doctor in a David Yates-helmed film version, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe said: "I don't know if I could play him. Matt Smith plays Doctor Who and does a wonderful job. They don't need me! I would never presume to jump into somebody else's franchise, not at all." [Digital Spy, 7 Feb 2012]

Jenny Tomasin's funeral took place at Islington and Camden Cemetery on 9th February. The actress's body was discovered at her London flat in January. According to the local coroner, she died of hypertensive heart disease on 3rd January but confirmation of her death was delayed as there were no immediate survivors. [The Stage, 6 Feb 2012]

And finally, the latest Doctor Who name to make her Twitter debut is Louise Jameson, who can be followed via @Lou_Jameson [Steven Moffat, 12 Feb 2012]