KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is to take her first steps on the West End stage with a starring part in Moliere’s play, The Misanthrope, which comes to the Comedy Theatre in December.

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Adapted by Martin Crimp, this version of the famous play shifts the action from Paris in the 17th century to modern-day London.

Knightley’s role is as the love interest of Alceste, played by Damien Lewis, in a cast that also includes Tara Fitzgerald and Tim McMullan.

The Misanthrope opens at the Comedy Theatre on 17 December, running until 13 March 2010.