Jemma Redgrave has withdrawn from Liverpool Everyman's forthcoming production of Macbeth, in which she was due to play Lady Macbeth opposite David Morrissey, citing personal reasons. The role of Lady Macbeth will now be played by Julia Ford in the production, which is helmed by artistic director Gemma Bodinetz and runs, as scheduled, from 12 May to 11 June 2011 (previews from 6 May).

In a statement today, Bodinetz said: “We are terribly sad to lose Jemma and she leaves the rehearsal room with our very best wishes. In Julia, we are blessed with a wonderful actress who I have no doubt will give us a powerful and electrifying Lady Macbeth. David, the company and I very much look forward to welcoming her into rehearsals”.

Macbeth, which returns Morrissey to his home town of Liverpool and the theatre where he started his career as a member of the Everyman's youth theatre, was also due to mark a return of sorts for Redgrave, whose previous stage credits include The Great Game and Major Barbara. Last year, she withdrew from the premiere of A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky, also citing personal reasons, following the death of her actor-father Corin Redgrave.

Julia Ford joins rehearsals immediately. Originally from the North West, Ford’s many credits include The Life of Galileo, Piano, The Crucible, Yerma and School for Wives at the National. She was most recently seen in Mogadishu for Manchester's Royal Exchange and London’s Lyric Hammersmith. Her television credits include Law & Order, Being Human, Red Riding Trilogy and Shameless, and she played Sandra Woolley in Shane Meadows' breakthrough film A Room for Romeo Brass.

Morrissey and Ford are joined in the Macbeth by Mark Arends, Ken Bradshaw, Richard Bremmer, Neil Caple, Matthew Flynn, Gillian Kearney, Syrus Lowe, Gavin Marshall, Shaun Mason, Nathan McMullen and Eileen O’Brien. The production is designed by Francis O'Connor, with music by Peter Coyte, lighting by Colin Grenfell and sound by Fergus O'Hare.