Christopher Eccleston will star opposite Jodie Whittaker in the National Theatre’s forthcoming revival of Sophocles’ Antigone.

Directed by Polly Findlay, the production opens in the NT Olivier on 30 May as part of the latest Travelex £12 season.

Eccleston, who became familiar to millions as the ninth Doctor in long-running BBC series Doctor Who in 2005, before handing over to David Tennant, will play Creon alongside Whittaker in the title role.

Desperate to gain control over a city ravaged by civil war, Creon refuses to bury the body of Antigone’s rebellious brother. Outraged, she defies his edict. Creon condemns the young woman, his niece, to be buried alive.

The people daren’t object but the prophet Teiresias warns that this tyranny will anger the gods: the rotting corpse is polluting the city. Creon hesitates and his fate is sealed.

Eccleston was last seen in the West End in the 2009 Donmar Warehouse production of A Doll’s House, opposite Gillian Anderson. His many other stage credits include Hamlet (at West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2002) Miss Julie, Abingdon Square, Bent, Dona Rosita and A Streetcar Named Desire.

In addition to Doctor Who, he has been on film and television in the likes of Shallow Grave, Jude, Elizabeth, Cracker, Our Friends in the North, 24 Hour Party People, Gone in Sixty Seconds, The Others, Hillsborough, 28 Days Later, The Second Coming and Clocking Off.