Christine Mackie - Coronation Street’s Dr Gaddas - will take the title role in Lear, an all-female, non-binary new joint production of the Shakespeare play from HER Productions, Unseemly Women and Girl Gang Manchester.
Opening at Hope Mill, Manchester (June 7-18), it's also at Shakespeare North Playhouse (June 21-24).
Mackie is best known for playing the Street's genial GP for the past nine years - diagnosing and treating most of Weatherfield - but Downton Abbey viewers will also recognise her for a five-episode run as Mrs Bryant.
She said: "Lear is the most accessible and human story, the language is just beautiful and it is full of fantastic characters. Lear's journey is pretty daunting, from supreme leader to someone who learns to feel 'what wretches feel' – and as a mother of daughters myself, I'm fascinated by Lear's family relationships."
HER Productions, Unseemly Women and Girl Gang Manchester stage annual Shakespeare productions - this is their fifth - that are always female-led to showcase local talent and highlight how an all-female and non binary company is no boundary to creating universal work.
Last year the company began a new partnership with Merseyside's new Shakespeare North Playhouse, touring their productions to Prescot from their base at Hope Mill Theatre.