Tennant, who had been out of the show since Dec. 9, missed the official opening Dec. 10 and the ensuing performances to Jan. 2. The acclaimed actor underwent surgery for a prolapsed disc.
In an update issued Jan. 3 by the RSC, it was announced that Tennant has made good progress following his back operation, and began rehearsals Jan. 2 in preparation for returning to the role. He rehearsed again Jan. 3 and performed that evening. Edward Bennett, who had been covering for Tennant, has returned to his original role as Laertes, along with Tom Davey, Ricky Champ and Robert Curtis, who play Guildenstern, Lucianus and Francisco, respectively.
According to the press statement, “We will be assessing David's return to each Hamlet performance next week on a day by day basis so patrons are being invited to check our website www.rsc.org.uk from 12 noon each day for an update for that evening's performance, or to call the RSC box office on 0844 800 1114 or the Novello Theatre Box Office on 0844 482 5135."
In a press statement issued prior to Christmas, Tennant said, "I am so grateful for all the terrific medical attention I have received and although it is frustrating to have to take it easy whilst all my friends and colleagues continue at the Novello Theatre every night, I am aware that I must listen to the experts and take my time. I am impatient to be back at work and sincerely hope to make it back some time before the end of the run. I am very sorry to disappoint anyone who booked to come and see me in Hamlet, but confident that you will be far from disappointed by Edward Bennett's performance in the title role. He is one of British theatre's most promising talents and an opportunity to see his Hamlet, alongside the brilliant ensemble of actors that I have had the great pleasure of working with all year, is very exciting."