Rory Kinnear has signed up to star as a young Karl Marx in a new stage play.
Young Marx will be the first production at the new Bridge Theatre, opening in London in October.
The comedy, by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman, will be directed by Sir Nicholas Hytner, former artistic director of the National Theatre.
Set in 1850, it stars Rory as the 32-year-old “broke, restless and horny” revolutionary and “most-feared terrorist”, in hiding in Dean Street, Soho.
“His writing blocked, his marriage dying, his friend Engels in despair at his wasted genius, his only hope is a job on the railway. But there’s still no one in the capital who can show you a better night on the piss than Karl Heinrich Marx,” the description for the play says.
Young Marx, starring Oliver Chris as Engels, will be followed in January next year by Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, with Ben Whishaw as Brutus.
Sir Nicholas co-founded the London Theatre Company after 12 years at the National Theatre, where his hits included The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guv’nors.
Its new Bridge Theatre, at the foot of Tower Bridge and next to City Hall, will focus on new shows, but also stage some classics.
Sir Nicholas said he wanted to make “bold, popular theatre”.
“We’ve commissioned ambitious plays that reach out to embrace the audience, and we’ve built an environment for them that is exciting, welcoming and flexible – a theatre that can be changed to suit the show,” he said.
“We reckon that London needs new theatres, designed for the shows that people make in the 21st century and the expectations that audiences have for a really good night out.”
Other new productions will include a new play by Nina Raine about JS Bach, played by Simon Russell Beale, and Flatpack, a dark comedy by John Hodge, screenwriter of Trainspotting and Shallow Grave.