John Boyega’s next role: starring on stage at the Old Vic

The Peckham lad goes from reluctant stormtrooper in Star Wars to murderous army barber

John Boyega is to take a break from filming Star Wars to take a starring role in stage in an Old Vic production of Woyzeck.

Boyega, born and raised in Peckham, will trade in his stormtrooper armour in March 2017 to play the part of an army barber who murders his mistress in a jealous rage, in the unfinished work by German playwright Georg Büchner. Often considered the first “modern” drama, it’s based on the true story of a wigmaker-turned-soldier who committed the crime in 1821.

The original text was left in a fragmentary state after Büchner’s untimely death, and this new version has been rewritten by Jack Thorne, who has written for Skins and the This Is England series.

The Old Vic, which up until recently was helmed by Kevin Spacey, describes the production as “one of the most influential plays ever written, creating for our time what Büchner intended for his: an unforgettable howl of rage”.

This will be Boyega’s biggest on-stage role in his career so far, though it isn’t his first time treading the boards. His breakout role was in Joe Cornish’s 2011 sci-fi flick Attack The Block, but he’ll probably be known for the rest of his life as Finn, the stormtrooper who develops a conscience in Star Wars VII. He’s currently filming the sequel in London, due for release in late 2017.