Kenneth Branagh will return to stage to play Shakespeare’s King Lear

Sir Kenneth Branagh will return to the stage for the first time in seven years to direct and play the title role in William Shakespeare’s King Lear.

The British actor and filmmaker, 62, last appeared on stage in November 2016 when he took on the role of failing comic Archie Rice in The Entertainer.

On Friday, the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company (KBTC) announced its new production of King Lear is set for 50 performances at Wyndham’s Theatre in London’s West End.

Sir Kenneth Branagh
Sir Kenneth will direct and star as King Lear (PA)

The play, presented by Fiery Angel and the Shed, will then transfer to the Shed’s Griffin Theatre in New York in autumn 2024.

Sir Kenneth will next be seen playing Hercule Poirot as Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian detective returns for another mystery, starring alongside Fifty Shades Of Grey star Jamie Dornan in A Haunting In Venice.

Dornan, from Northern Ireland, also starred in Belfast, the autobiographical drama written and directed by Sir Kenneth.

Set during the Troubles, it is partly based on the 62-year-old actor, writer and director’s experiences as a boy, and earned him a best original screenplay Oscar last year.

Tickets for the London run of King Lear, which previews from October 21 and has an official opening night on October 31, will go on sale at midday on June 5.