Sir Jonathan Miller returns to theatre

Sir Jonathan Miller Sir Jonathan was knighted for his services to the arts 10 years ago

Theatre and opera director Sir Jonathan Miller is to stage his first play in the UK for five years.

Sir Jonathan will direct Githa Sowerby's 1912 drama Rutherford and Son, about a family glassworks.

He will stage the play next February with the Northern Broadsides theatre company at the Viaduct Theatre in a former carpet factory in Halifax.

Sir Jonathan's last dramatic production was Hamlet at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol in 2008.

After Hamlet, he predicted that he would "never" return to the theatre.

Regarded as one of the nation's most acclaimed and fiercely intelligent directors, Sir Jonathan made his name with Peter Cooke, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett in Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s.

He put on The Merchant of Venice starring Laurence Olivier in London's West End in 1970 and later became known for staging operas including Rigoletto and The Mikado.

Northern Broadsides artistic director Barrie Rutter will star as John Rutherford in Rutherford and Son.

"Earlier this year Barrie invited me up to Halifax to visit Northern Broadsides' home at the Viaduct Theatre," Sir Jonathan said.

"I was totally overcome with the venue's wonderful intimate performance space, which is such an exciting challenge and delight for both a director and actor."

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