Sheila Hancock
Sheila Hancock
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Olivier Award-winner Sheila Hancock will star in the stage adaptation of hit 1971 comedy Harold and Maude in the West End.

Written by Colin Higgins, who also wrote the film's screenplay, and directed by Thom Southerland , the show will open at the Charing Cross Theatre in February next year.

The play sees a destructive young man, obsessed with death, change his ways through a sustained relationship with a free-spirited septuagenarian.

Hancock's most recent stage appearance was in Grey Gardens at the Southwark Playhouse, which was also directed by Southerland. She has, over an illustrious stage career, been nominated for Olivier Awards five times, including a win in 2007 for her performance as Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret.

Southerland says: "I couldn't be more thrilled to be bringing Colin Higgins' masterpiece Harold and Maude to Charing Cross Theatre for its first ever London production. I am honoured and delighted to be teaming up again with Sheila Hancock on this incredible piece, which dares us to think beyond the obvious".

The film Harold and Maude, directed by Hal Ashby, originally starred Ruth Cordon and Bud Cort, being nominated for two Golden Globe awards and was recently listed at number 65 on Empire's Top 500 films ever made.

Harold and Maude runs at the Charing Cross Theatre from 26 February to 31 March, with previews from 18 February.

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