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Keira Knightley set for The Misanthrope in West End

Oct 10, 2009, 9:01 GMT

Keira Knightley set for The Misanthrope in West End

British actress Keira Knightley. Set for the West End\'s Misanthrope production EPA/WARREN TODA

Keira Knightley is to swap the big screen for the theatre when she makes her West End debut.

The 'Pirates of the Caribbean' star will play a vacuous Hollywood starlet in a modern version of Moliere's 17th century comedy 'The Misanthrope' in London's famous theatre district.

Keira, 24, is said to be "terrified but excited" about the play.

The Oscar-nominated star's character is the love interest of British stage veteran Damian Lewis' lead character.

Keira has been taking voice and singing lessons to prepare for the play which opens at the Comedy Theatre in December.

Director Thea Sharrock - who directed 'Harry Potter' star Daniel Radcliffe in his 2007 stage debut in 'Equus' - said: "It's not a whim on her part. She's absolutely ready to come into this vulnerable position.

"I'm interested in working with her, to push her in a way that I don't think she has been pushed before because although she has worked with amazing directors, film doesn't work like that."

And Keira can rely on boyfriend Rupert Friend for help. The 'Cheri' actor makes his own West End debut early next year.

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