Lesley Sharp will play Mrs Alving in Henrik Ibsen’s 1881 classic Ghosts, co-starring Iain Glen, who will also helm the new production, marking his directorial debut. It will open in the new year at the West End’s Duchess Theatre, running for a limited season from 23 February to 15 May 2010 (previews from 8 February).

Set in the Norwegian fjordland, the drama takes place in Mrs Alving’s country house, where she is preparing for the opening of an orphanage, a memorial to her late husband. Mrs Alving’s son Oswald, an artist, returns home for the celebrations. A story of love, betrayal and hypocrisy gradually unfolds as ghosts from the past come back to haunt the family.

Lesley Sharp was Whatsonstage.com and Evening Standard Award nominated for her Harper Regan last year at the National. She’ll come straight to Ghosts from starring in the West End revival of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, which runs at the Vaudeville Theatre from 8 October to 20 January (See News, 20 Aug 2009). Her screen credits include Cranford, Clocking Off and Playing the Field on TV and films such as Vera Drake, Naked, as well as The Full Monty.

Iain Glen’s many stage acting credits include Scenes from a Marriage, Wallenstein, The Crucible, Hedda Gabler, The Man Who Had All the Luck, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Blue Room, opposite Nicole Kidman.

Ghosts was last seen in the West End in a 2001 revival starring Francesca Annis at the Comedy Theatre. The version being staged by Glen is written by Frank McGuinness. It was first seen at Bristol Old Vic in 2007, when Sian Thomas played Mrs Alving, and had a workshop production earlier this year at the Young Vic.

Further casting for the West End season, which is produced by Thelma Holt and Nica Burns, has yet to be announced. Ahead of Ghosts at the Duchess, Complicite’s production of Samuel Beckett's Endgame, starring Mark Rylance and Simon McBurney, who also directs, runs from 2 October to 5 December (See News, 13 Aug 2009).