As previously tipped by Whatsonstage.com, Rowan Atkinson will return to the West End early next year to play the title role in a revival of Simon Gray's Quartermaine's Terms.

Produced by Michael Codron and directed by Richard Eyre, it opens at Wyndham's Theatre on 29 January 2013 (previews from 23 January) following runs at the The Theatre Royal Brighton (8 – 12 January) and the Theatre Royal Bath (14 - 19  January).

Set in the 1960s in an English language school for foreigners, Gray's 1971 play is a humorous and poignant account of several years in the lives of seven teachers.

At the heart of the group is St John Quartermaine (Atkinson) – kind, pleasant and agreeable, but utterly hopeless as a teacher. An almost permanent feature in the staff room, he's always available to listen to the problems of his self-obsessed colleagues. But when a new Principal is appointed, Quartermaine’s future looks precarious.

Quartermaine’s Terms will mark Rowan Atkinson’s first appearance in a play for almost 25 years. He first appeared in the West End in 1981 in Rowan Atkinson in Revue, also produced by Michael Codron and subsequently in The New Revue, The Nerd, The Sneeze and most recently as Fagin in Cameron Mackintosh’s revival of the musical Oliver!, for which he received a Whatsonstage.com Award.

A founder member of the Not the Nine O'Clock news team, he remains best known for his appearances in much-loved comedies Mr Bean and Blackadder, as well as films including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Johnny English, Love Actually and Mr Bean's Holiday.

Further casting for Quartermaine’s Terms is still to be announced.