Sir Trevor Nunn will return to the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) to direct Sir Ian McKellen in a production of King Lear.
Sir Trevor Nunn was director of the National Theatre for five years to 2003
The play will be the final production in the company's year-long Complete Works festival, which is staging all of Shakespeare's sonnets, poems and plays.
Sir Ian will take the title role and will also appear in Sir Trevor's production of Chekhov's The Seagull.
Sir Trevor was artistic director of the RSC from 1968-1986.
"For many years now I have been hoping to return to my theatrical roots in the RSC," he said.
"For even longer, I have been looking forward to the fulfilment of the vow Ian McKellen and I made that one day we would do King Lear together."
The two productions will play in the new Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon from March 2007 before embarking on a world tour.