Welsh actor Luke Evans is set to return to London's West End for the first time in 16 years later in 2023. 

Evans, who hails from Pontypool, began his acting career in the West End spending eight years "treading the boards".

More recently he has moved his acting career to the big screen appearing in films including Beauty and the Beast and Pinocchio as well as featuring in The Hobbit and Fast and Furious franchises.

Evans has also been touted as one of the favourites to take over from Daniel Craig as the next James Bond along with the likes of Henry Cavill, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Happy Valley's James Norton.

South Wales Argus: Luke Evans has been touted as one of the favourites to play the next James Bond.Luke Evans has been touted as one of the favourites to play the next James Bond. (Image: Newsquest)

Evans would be the second Welshman to play Bond after Timothy Dalton, who was born in Colwyn Bay, played the role of 007 in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989).

Luke Evans to return to where his acting career began

After 16 years away from London's West End, Evans, 44, revealed on social media today he would be returning to "where it all began".

In a post on Instagram and Twitter, he said: "Hey peeps!! As many if [of] you will know, I started my acting career on the stage, It’s been 16 years since I did a play on the West End, that is way too long!!

"So, I’m Thrilled to say that I have a big announcement for you all on July 5th. Tune-in here. So excited to share this news with you!!!"

With the post was a video where Evans explained he would be doing a play in London later this year. 

He revealed more information would be available on Wednesday (July 5) by which time fans would already know what the play is going to be and how to get tickets. 

Evans added: "I'm very excited, I'm also very nervous, and I'm looking forward to it very much, to be entertaining you where it all began for me back on the West End stage."

Fans excited about Luke Evans' return to the West End

Fans have taken to social media to share their excitement with the news Evans will be returning to London's West End in 2023. 

One fan, commenting on Evans' Instagram post, said: "So, the next trip to London is to be planned. Great news, dear Luke."

Another person said: "Fantastic news! can’t wait to see you live in the West End, big love."

While a third person added: "Congratulations! (four clapping hands emojis), no need to be nervous, you are an excellent actor and singer."