Heir to Olivier? Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
© Dan Wooller

Kenneth Branagh is reportedly setting up a theatre company to stage a season of three plays at the West End's Garrick Theatre.

According to the Daily Mail, Branagh's plan - which follows similar seasons by Michael Grandage and Jamie Lloyd - is to establish an ensemble to perform "Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, plus a new original play and another classic".

Branagh, who was last in the West End in Grandage's Donmar production of Ivanov in 2008, will "direct some productions and appear in others". He starred in a site-specific production of Macbeth as part of the 2013 Manchester International Festival.

In the 1980s he set up the acclaimed Renaissance Theatre Company which staged productions starring Judi Dench and Derek Jacobi, among others.

The Mail adds: "His new venture is in the great tradition of the theatrical actor-managers who once dominated the West End landscape."