David Tennant has returned to the role of Hamlet after undergoing back surgery.

The Doctor Who actor could not perform throughout most of December when a slipped disc left him in agony.

A statement issued on Saturday by the Royal Shakespeare Company said: “David Tennant has made good progress following his recent back operation and began rehearsals yesterday in preparation for his return to the title role in Hamlet.”

He received an ovation after appearing in Saturday night’s performance.

However, the theatre company is not taking any chances with its star and said it will be assessing David’s continued performances in the role ‘on a day by day basis’.

Showgoers can check for updates to see if David will be fit for their performance throughout the week by visiting www.rsc.org.uk.

The actor’s successful sell-out run at the Novello Theatre in central London is due to finish on Saturday, January 10.

His return as Hamlet came on the day the BBC announced that 26-year-old actor Matt Smith will succeed him as Dr Who.