David Suchet has traded in the iconic moustache of ace detective Hercule Poirot for the strait-laced gowns of Lady Bracknell in a production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

The veteran star will be adopting drag to star as the headstrong matriarch in Wilde’s comedy in the West End, a role that Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, and even Brian Bedford have played previously.

He told the Daily Mail that after playing ‘an extraordinary character like Hercule Poirot in wonderful stories for so long, I always knew it would be a challenge to find another character as extraordinary to play. I also wanted comedy. Lady Bracknell is both’.

The Importance of Being Earnest is the story of Jack Worthing’s pursuit for his best friend’s cousin’s hand in marriage. But his quest is impeded by the disapproving guardian, Lady Bracknell.

The production will be directed by former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Adrian Noble, and previews begin in June 2015.