Shakespearean veteran and film star David Warner (pictured) returns to the West End next month after an absence of 30 years. Warner will star in The Feast of Snails, a new play by Icelandic playwright Olaf Olafsson, which opens at the Lyric Theatre on 18 February 2002, following previews from 8 February.

Born near Manchester in 1941, Warner was a stage regular in the 1960s, particularly with the Royal Shakespeare company, where his work included The Wars of the Roses and title roles in Henry Vi, Richard II and a landmark Hamlet. His last UK stage appearance was in 1972 in the RSC's production of I, Claudius. The only time he's trodden the boards since then was last year when he made his New York stage debut in a production of Major Barbara.

In three intervening decades, Warner has remained a regular on film and television, where his wide-ranging credits have included Tom Jones, The Omen, The French Lieutenant's Woman, The Company of Wolves, The Planet of the Apes, Holocaust, Twin Peaks, The Choir and Hornblower.

The Feast of the Snails tells the story of a highly successful business tycoon who's preparing for a solitary gourmet feast in his sumptuous home when his plans are disrupted the arrival of a young stranger.

Warner is joined in the cast by Philip Glenister (whose TV credits include Clocking Off, Roger, Roger, My Wonderful Life and Soldier, Soldier) and Sorcha Cusack (who recently appeared in The Playboy of the Western World at the National).

Author Olafsson was born in Reykjavik and now lives in New York City. He's also the author of two novels, The Journey Home and Absolution. A Feast of Snails is directed by honorary RSC artistic director Ron Daniels and designed by Ashley Martin-Davis, with lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by John Leonard.

- by Terri Paddock