One Foot in the Grave star Richard Wilson will perform at the Frinton Summer Theatre as it celebrates its 75th anniversary year.
The actor, best known for playing Victor Meldrew in the BBC comedy, will join the cast for a week.
He will be swapping Sheffield’s Crucible theatre for a Scout hut in Frinton.
Matthew Townshend, summer theatre producer, said: “We have no doubt it will be a far cry from Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, which he will have finished just before he arrives to start rehearsals in a Scout hut on the Essex coast.
“But we are absolutely thrilled such a well-known face has accepted our invitation to help us celebrate.”
The list of plays to be performed at the McGrigor Hall will be released in the build-up to summer.
Organisers have been working to add marquee names to the bill to mark the theatre’s 75th anniversary and boost crowds, which have dwindled slightly over the years.
They say a host of other stars have been lined up to appear throughout the season and further names will be released over the coming months.
Richard, who starred as Gaius in the BBC drama Merlin, said: “It’s going to be an experience I’m really looking forward to.
“I hope my presence, and that of some other well-known names, will get as many people through the doors as possible to enjoywhat will be a fantastic season.”
Frinton Summer Theatre is the longest-running repertory theatre company in the UK.
It launched in 1937 and was only halted for a period during the Second World War.
The theatre group was once known as a starting point for the stars, with a host of up-andcomers getting their start on the Frinton stage.
It was seen as the original apprenticeship, giving actors, directors, designers and technicians a chance to learn the ropes.
Among the famous faces to learn their trade in Frinton are Timothy West, Vanessa Redgrave, Linda Bellingham, Gary Oldman, Jane Asher and Antony Sher.