Richard Eyre will direct the production, which marks a further collaboration between the director and Manville, following their work together on the Olivier-winning Ghosts. Irons returns to the stage for the first time since starring as Harold Macmillan in the National Theatre's production of Never So Good in 2008.
Long Day's Journey into Night, widely considered one of the greatest tragedies of the modern age, takes place over a single day and follows ageing actor James Tyrone and his wife Mary and their family as they struggle through financial hardship and drug addiction.
Eyre said: "The first play I ever saw – at the age of 15 – was at Bristol Old Vic. To be back here over 50 years later to direct… Long Day's Journey into Night – one of the greatest (and saddest) plays ever written – is a real privilege."
The 250th anniversary season celebrates the Bristol Old Vic's status as the UK's oldest theatre and consists of five plays, each one from a different century in the venue's history. Long Day's Journey… represents the 20th century. Alongside it is Sally Cookson's hit production of Jane Eyre – currently on at the National Theatre – which will return to Bristol, and represents the 19th century.
The 21st century plays featured will be the five-star production of Pink Mist by Owen Sheers, which returns to the theatre following a run at the Bush in January, and a new co-production with Cornish-based theatre company Kneehigh in June, as well as a major new musical in November.
The 18th century will be represented by a currently unannounced revival, and the season will also include a production of a Shakespeare play performed to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death. Further details will be released in November.