ROBIN Simpson is taking over the role of Benedick in Northern Broadsides and New Vic Theatre's co-production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.

Simpson, who was part of the northern company for last summer's Shakespeare's Rose Theatre productions on the Castle car park in York, is stepping in to replace the indisposed Reece Dinsdale.

Dinsdale has had to leave Conrad Nelson's production on account of a family illness.

Simpson's Benedick will play opposite Isobel Middleton’s Beatrice from February 8 on a tour that visits the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, from March 12 to 16, York Theatre Royal, May 14 to 18, and Harrogate Theatre, May 21 to 25. The full cast will be announced this week.

Last summer, Simpson played Snout, Tinker and and a Fairy in Juliet Forster's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and a Witch, Murderer and Messenger in Damian Cruden's Macbeth at the Shakespeare's Village site.

He also has appeared in York Theatre Royal productions of The Wind In The Willows; To Kill A Mockingbird; The Seagull; Hansel And Gretel; The Railway Children; Pinocchio and Pygmalion.

Scarborough tickets are on sale on 01723 370541or at; York, 01904 623568 or; Harrogate, 01423 502116 or