David Tennant has been given the critics’ seal of approval for his latest stage role in a modern-day production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

The former Doctor Who actor traded his TARDIS for the West End’s Wyndhams Theatre for the play’s opening show – and his performance took the plaudits.

David was reunited with comedienne Catherine Tate – who starred alongside him in the cult BBC science fiction series – for the classic Shakespeare comedy.

Director Josie Rourke decided her adaptation should do some time-travelling itself, setting the play in a naval base on the Costa del Sol in the 1980s

David was cast as the loyal hero Benedick while Catherine stars as sharp-tongued adversary Beatrice.

Telegraph critic Charles Spencer described the production as a “populist Shakespeare with both intelligence and heart”.

He said: “The chemistry Tennant and Tate established in Dr Who survives in their performances as the disputatious lovers. Tennant, an old hand at Shakespeare, brings a fine mixture of wit, cynicism and sudden love-struck wonder to Benedick, speaks the language with Scottish-accented clarity, and proves highly sympathetic but never ingratiating.”

However, Libby Purves from The Times was less complimentary.

She said: “Tennant and Tate are both seasoned stage actors, but this is sell-out celebrity casting – Doctor Who about nothing – and the production knows it.

“It’s reasonable fun, though I have to say that the Globe’s endearing production made me laugh more and believe more in the warring lovers as human being reluctant to lower their defences to the absurdities of love.”

Meanwhile, David and Tennant are due to reunite once again for This Is Jinsy, it has been announced.

The new eight-part comedy, which also stars Jennifer Saunders, Simon Callow and Harry Hill, will be shown on Sky Atlantic in September.