Fans of David Tennant will be banned from having Doctor Who merchandise signed when the actor plays Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

The Scottish star is to play the Dane in the RSC production at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon from August 5th, while Sir Patrick Stewart is to essay the roles of Claudius and the Ghost.

However, the theatre company has issued a statement confirming that fans will not be permitted to bring Doctor Who or Star Trek merchandise to be autographed, with only programmes and Hamlet-related products to be signed by the company.

"Limits" are to be imposed, the statement explained, due to the popular clamour for autographs from the production's leading men.

"Due to the huge amount of interest in the RSC's current production of Hamlet, only Royal Shakespeare Company or production related memorabilia will be signed by members of the company," it continued.

"It is very flattering that there is so much interest in this production, but the sheer volume of requests means that we need to set some limits which will be as fair as possible for everyone.

"We apologise if this causes any disappointment."

Tennant has previously played Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors for the RSC while Stewart - who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard - recently won a best actor prize in the Evening Standard newspaper's theatre awards for the title role in Rupert Goold's Macbeth revival.

25/07/2008 15:59:54