Laura Carmichael, famous for her role as Lady Edith in Downton Abbey, will play Sonya in Linday Posner's forthcoming Uncle Vanya at the Vaudeville Theatre.

According to the Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye, Carmichael “blew away” producer Kim Poster in her audition. Poster added “she was emotionally powerful, and poignant — no easy feat. It was also clear that she passionately wanted to do this.”

The stage role will mean an exceptionally busy season for Carmichael, with producers going out of their way to leave daytimes free for the filming of the expected fourth season of Downton Abbey. She will star alongside previously announced cast Ken Stott as Vanya, Anna Friel as leading lady Yelena and Samuel West playing the tortured physician Astrov.

The show begins rehearsing in mid-September, ahead of its opening at the Vaudeville Theatre on 2 November (previews from 25 October).