Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa cast in Oscar Wilde play this winter

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Ncuti Gatwa will join Sharon D Clarke and Hugh Skinner in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton Theatre in London this winter.

Wilde’s play is a comedy farce set in the Victorian Era with its burdensome social conventions involving marriage. Gatwa and Skinner will play bachelors Algernon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing while Sharon D. Clarke will play the imperious Lady Bracknell. The play will will run from 20 November 2024 through 25 January 2025.

Gatwa had previously made comments which suggested he would be back to film for the Doctor Who 2026 series some time after the completion of filming the 2025 series next month.

If this remains the plan, Gatwa likely won’t be available to film the Doctor Who series which airs in 2026 until February 2025. Since the series are filmed so far in advance and the production has previously worked around around his schedule, it’s not impossible for him to be in a third series — which doesn’t yet have a 2026 transmission date.

It’s also possible that filming for the 2026 Doctor Who series could begin as early as August 2024 with Gatwa being available until October 2024. The production could work around his early winter schedule for the play by filming scenes which don’t include the Fifteenth Doctor or filming “Doctor lite” episodes which don’t heavily feature the Doctor. He could then return for more filming in February 2025. Several production roles recently offered for an eight-part, high-end television series based in Cardiff would suggest this.

The 2024 series commenced filming without Gatwa, who was still filming the fourth and final series of Sex Education, on 5 December 2022. He first joined 2024 series production to film 18 December 2022. Filming for the 2025 series began on 23 October 2024.

Doctor Who, starring Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson returns on 11 May 2024 midnight, 00:00 BST (10 May 7:00pm ET) streaming on BBC iPlayer and Disney+ with Space Babies and The Devil’s Chord. Both episodes will broadcast on BBC One in the UK and Ireland on 11 May immediately before Eurovision. The remaining six episodes will stream at 00:00 BST on the six subsequent Saturdays.