Film star Rufus Sewell has been secured to play the lead in Shakespeare's Macbeth in a West End production to open later this year. The show will be directed by John Crowley and produced by Thelma Holt. Exact dates, venue and other casting has yet to be confirmed.

Sewell, part of the so-called 'Brit-hip' group of young actors, recently appeared in the London-based romantic film comedy Martha - Meet Frank, Daniel and Lawrence. Previous period film dramas have included Middlemarch, Cold Comfort Farm, Carrington and The Woodlanders. Sewell will also be appearing soon in four major Hollywood releases - Dangerous Beauty, sci-fi thriller Dark City, John Turturro's Illuminata, and At Satchem Farm with fellow Brits Minnie Driver and Nigel Hawthorne.

Sewell was last seen on the stage in the 1995 Royal Court production of Ron Hutchinson's Rat in the Skull. Other theatre credits include the National Theatre production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia and Brian Friel's Translations. In 1992, Sewell won the Critics Circle Award for Best Newcomer for his role in James Saunder's Making It Better at the Criterion Theatre.