Speaking to theatregoers at last night's Whatsonstage.com Outing to Educating Rita, Tim Pigott-Smith revealed that, for his next stage appearance, he’ll be tackling the title role in King Lear in a production that will open at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds in autumn 2011. He worried that people will be “Leared out” after Derek Jacobi’s performance in Michael Grandage’s forthcoming production of the Shakespeare tragedy, which runs at the Donmar Warehouse over Christmas before regional dates – but we reckon it’ll still be worth travelling to see Pigott-Smith in anything, especially King Lear.

In the meantime, according to the actor, the Willy Russell Season, which also comprises Meera Syal in Shirley Valentine, may be extending beyond its current booking period, which finishes on 30 October 2010. Pigott-Smith said they’ve been asked to stay on – though with no specifics for exactly how long.

Amongst the other productions that have been rumoured as possible residents in Trafalgar Studio 1 is the recent Landor Theatre revival of musical revue Smokey Joe’s Cafe, starring Over the Rainbow finalist Steph Fearon.