Rupert Everett is to star in a brand new production of Pygmalion at the Chichester Festival Theatre as part of its 2010 season.

Rupert Everett and Angela Lansbury in the recent Broadway production of Blithe Spirit

In the new Chichester Festival Theatre season, to be announced later this week, Rupert Everett will star in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, playing Professor Henry Higgins alongside the inimitable Stephanie Cole as his mother. The play will be directed by Philip Prowse.

Everett takes the role after his Broadway run as Charles Condomine in Blithe Spirit alongside Angela Lansbury. Charles Condomine was famously played by Rex Harrison in the 1945 David Lean film, who also played Henry Higgins in the stage and film musical adaptation of Pygmalion, My Fair Lady. Is Rupert reinventing himself as the Rex Harrison of our times?

Chichester’s new season follows their triumphant run last year, including the critical and Olivier Award-nominated success of Enron, a joint effort with the Royal Court theatre and now playing to packed houses at the Noel Coward Theatre in the West End.

Also performing in Chichester will be Sir Patrick Stewart, following his success last year in Waiting for Godot at the Theatre Royal Haymarket by portraying Shakespeare in a revival of Edward Bond’s 1973 play Bingo.

Stewart is no stranger to the Bard’s work, having built his career around playing Shakespeare’s great roles, including his performance as Macbeth at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2007 directed by Rupert Goold, and last year in the RSC’s Hamlet with David Tennant.

Bingo will be staged on the Chichester Festival Theatre’s Minerva stage in April, directed by Angus Jackson, the hot young director who has worked twice before at Chichester: last year directing Wallenstein with Iain Glen (currently starring in Ghosts at the Duchess Theatre in London) and Funny Girl in 2008 with Samantha Spiro.

Other new productions in the season include a brand new stage adaptation of the classic film Love Story.

Based on the novel by Erich Segal, and the 1970 movie starring Ali McGraw, Ryan O’Neal and Ray Milland, this “play with music” will feature music by Howard Goodall and lyrics by Stephen Clark and will be directed by Rachel Kavanagh, to run at Chichester in May.