Australian stage and screen star Caroline O'Connor will play Mama Rose in Gypsy at Leicester Curve in March next year, part of the theatre's upcoming season which was announced today (17 May 2011).

The seminal Broadway musical, which will be directed by Curve artistic director Paul Kerryson, will open on 15 March 2012 (previews from 13 March) and run to 14 April 2012.

Other highlights in Kerryson's fourth season, include the world premiere of Akram Khan's new dance piece Desh, Michael Buffong's production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Christmas musical 42nd Street and the theatre's co-production with Max Stafford-Clark's Out of Joint, Bang Bang Bang by Stella Feehily.

The Curve also announced this morning that Kerryson’s critically acclaimed production of The King and I starring Janie Dee which played the venue last Christmas, will receive a festive run at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre this year.

Choreographer Akram Khan brings his second world premiere to the Curve, debuting Desh from 15 September (previews from 12 September) to 17 September. The dance piece, which follow's last year's Curve co-production Vertical Road which travelled to London, China, Australia and Europe, will also embark on a world tour.

The Curve embark on a co-production with Max Stafford-Clark's Out of Joint, presenting Stella Feehily's Bang Bang Bang a new play that goes behind the public face of charities, journalists and NGOs. The show embarks on a national tour from Bolton Octagon on 5 September, playing the Curve from 4 to 8 October 2011 prior to a four-week run at the Royal Court in October.

Stella Feehily brings her trademark wit and emotional insight to this revealing new play. Her previous work includes Dreams of Violence, Catch, O Go My Man, Duck and Game.

Award-winning film, theatre and television director Michael Buffong helms One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Curve from 18 October (previews from 14 October) to 5 November 2011. Director of A Raisin in the Sun and Private Lives at Manchester's Royal Exchange and the spin off project Crawling in the Dark at the Almeida, Buffong directs Dale Wasserman's 1963 stage adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel.

"Continuing the Tradition of Musical Theatre"

Following the success of The King and I, the Curve will present the 1980 Broadway musical 42nd Street from 6 December 2011 (previews from 1 December) to 14 January 2012. Kerryson will be joined on the creative team by choreographer Andrew Wright and musical director Julian Kelly for the show, which follows small-town girl Peggy Sawyer and her meteoric rise from chorus line hoofer to Broadway star.

Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents' 1959 musical Gypsy will play the Leicester venue from 15 March (previews from 13 March) to 14 April 2012 starring Caroline O'Connor as Mama Rose - the role played by Ethel Merman in the original Broadway production.

O'Connor was seen in the West End last year with her one-woman show The Showgirl Within which played a limited season at the Garrick Theatre. Her West End credits include On the Town and Mack and Mabel. She has also appeared in End of the Rainbow (Australia and Edinburgh Fringe) and Chicago on Broadway, as well as West Side Story, Hot Stuff, The Rink and Piaf and regular concerts at the likes of the Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House. Her screen credits include Nini in Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge and Ethel Merman in De-Lovely.

Further casting and creative teams for the production, which Kerryson directs, have still to be announced.

The Curve's autumn season will also include productions of Richard Gregory's Entitled (13-15 October), co-produced by Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre and Sadler’s Wells and Sam Shepard's Buried Child (10 November - 3 December) in the Studio.