Jim Broadbent to tread the boards as Hans Christian Andersen

A Very Very Very Dark Matter will premiere on the London stage.

Jim Broadbent has signed up to star as Hans Christian Andersen in a “dangerous, twisted and funny” new play about the fairytale author.

The Paddington 2 star has been cast as the writer of classics such as The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling.

The world premiere of the play,  A Very Very Very Dark Matter by Martin McDonagh, will take place next autumn at the Bridge Theatre in London, the London Theatre Company announced.

Sir Nicholas Hytner, the former artistic director of the National Theatre, where his hits included The History Boys and War Horse,  co-founded the company.

Olivier Awards 2016 – London
Rory Kinnear (Ian West/PA)

Its new Bridge Theatre opened last month, with Young Marx starring Rory Kinnear.

Set in a townhouse in Copenhagen, A Very Very Very Dark Matter “travels deep into the abysses of the imagination”.

Danish author Hans Christian Andersen “works in a townhouse in Copenhagen … But the true source of his stories dwells in his attic upstairs, her existence a dark secret kept from the outside world”.

Playwright and film-maker McDonagh is best known for The Pillowman, The Cripple Of Inishmaan and, on the big screen, new film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Directed by Matthew Dunster, the play will preview from  October 10 next year.

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