Doctor Who star Matt Smith leads the cast of An Enemy of the People

Matt Smith to Star in Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” in 2024

In an exciting theatrical announcement, it has been revealed that acclaimed British actor Matt Smith is set to take on the role of Dr. Thomas Stockmann in the upcoming production of Henrik Ibsen’s timeless classic, “An Enemy of the People.” This adaptation is scheduled to grace the Duke of York’s Theatre stage for a two-month run, commencing on February 6, 2024. Smith’s return to the West End is eagerly anticipated, especially considering his notable absence since his last performance in 2020.

The Plot Unveiled

The heart of the story revolves around Dr. Thomas Stockmann, who finds himself thrust into a pivotal role when tasked with inspecting the public baths in his town. However, his discovery of contamination within the baths presents a profound dilemma, as the prosperity of the entire town hinges on these very public baths. Undeterred by opposition from the townspeople, who fear the economic repercussions of his findings, Dr. Stockmann seeks to bring the truth to light. He embarks on a journey to publish his alarming discoveries in the newspaper and demand a re-routing of the town’s water pipes to resolve the issue. Little does he know that his quest for truth and justice will lead to his vilification as an enemy of the people.

An Exploration of Relevant Themes

Director Thomas Ostermeier, renowned for pushing the boundaries of theatre, recognizes the continued relevance of Ibsen’s work. He highlights the urgency of addressing contemporary challenges such as climate change and global warming. In the face of these pressing issues, Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” resonates deeply, as it explores the struggles of an individual who dares to confront uncomfortable truths in the pursuit of a greater good. Ostermeier’s commitment to creating an English version of this production for London underscores the enduring power and significance of this timeless play.

Matt Smith’s Impressive Career

Matt Smith’s journey from his iconic portrayal of the Eleventh Doctor in “Doctor Who” to his recent roles in acclaimed series like “House of the Dragon” and “The Crown” has solidified his status as a versatile and talented actor. His ability to seamlessly transition between vastly different characters showcases his acting prowess. As he takes on the challenging role of Dr. Stockmann in “An Enemy of the People,” fans and theatre enthusiasts eagerly anticipate another exceptional performance from this gifted actor.

A Brief Look at Matt Smith’s Background

Born on October 28, 1982, in Northampton, England, Matthew Robert Smith grew up in a family with a creative streak. His sister, Laura Jayne, even appeared in the music video for Eric Prydz’s “Call on Me” in 2004. Matt’s early years included a passion for youth football, where he played for Nottingham Forest, Northampton Town, and Leicester City while attending Northampton School for Boys. Unfortunately, a back injury resulting in spondylolysis forced him to leave football behind.

It was the persistence of his cousin, Leigh Killick, a drama teacher in Northampton, that led Matt to initially participate in school performances. Despite some initial reluctance, he eventually embraced acting, with one of his early roles being Juror 10 in a production of “Twelve Angry Men.” Killick’s influence eventually led him to join London’s National Youth Theatre.

After graduating from the University of East Anglia in 2005, where he studied creative writing and drama, Matt Smith’s talent on the stage caught the attention of an agent. This marked the beginning of his professional acting career, with roles in plays such as “On the Shore of the Wide World” and “Fresh Kills.”

The Rise to Fame

While Matt Smith’s career boasts an array of impressive roles, his portrayal of the Eleventh Doctor in the long-running British TV series “Doctor Who” (2010-2014) catapulted him to international fame. His charismatic and unique interpretation of the Doctor endeared him to fans worldwide. Following his tenure as the Doctor, Smith continued to captivate audiences with his roles, including his portrayal of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in Netflix’s “The Crown,” which earned him an Emmy nomination.

Smith’s versatility extends beyond television, as he has also made a mark in the world of film. His credits include appearances in notable movies such as “Terminator Genisys” (2015), “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (2016), “Mapplethorpe” (2018), “Last Night in Soho” (2021), and “Morbius” (2022). Furthermore, Matt Smith has ventured into directing, with the 2013 short film “Cargese” to his name.

Theatrical Ventures

In addition to his television and film work, Matt Smith has a strong connection to the theatre. He has graced the stage in various productions, showcasing his range as an actor. Notable theatrical appearances include “The History Boys” at the Royal National Theatre in 2005-2006, “Swimming with Sharks” at the Vaudeville Theatre in 2007-2008, and “American Psycho” at the Almeida Theatre in 2008-2014.

A Multifaceted Talent

Matt Smith’s artistic contributions extend beyond traditional acting. He has lent his distinctive voice to several projects, including voicing the titular character in the 2021 animated special “Superworm.” Additionally, he has been involved in the world of video games, contributing his voice to games like “Doctor Who: The Adventure Games,” “Doctor Who: Return to Earth,” “Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth,” and “Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock.”

The Future Holds More Excitement

In a significant career development, it was announced in December 2020 that Matt Smith had been selected to play Daemon Targaryen in the eagerly awaited “House of the Dragon.” This prequel to the immensely popular “Game of Thrones” series has generated immense anticipation among fans, and Smith’s involvement adds further intrigue to the project.

A Wealth of Talent and Success

With a career spanning various mediums and genres, Matt Smith has garnered substantial acclaim and recognition. As of now, his net worth stands at an impressive $9.5 million, a testament to his talent and the impact he has made in the entertainment industry.

In conclusion, Matt Smith’s upcoming role as Dr. Thomas Stockmann in “An Enemy of the People” is a significant addition to his already illustrious career. As he returns to the West End stage, audiences can expect nothing less than a stellar performance from this versatile actor who has consistently pushed the boundaries of his craft. Henrik Ibsen’s enduring themes of truth, morality, and societal dynamics are sure to resonate strongly in this adaptation, making it a production to look forward to in 2024 and a testament to the continued relevance of classic theatre.

‘An Enemy of the People’ is at the Duke of York’s Theatre, Feb 26-Apr 6 2024.

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Stevie Flavio
Film Writer


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