British movie star Hugh Grant has returned to his stage roots to appear in a London play about battling learning disabilities as an actor.

The Notting Hill star has teamed up with members of The Baked Bean Theatre Company, which is comprised of actors with learning difficulties, to stage The Drama Group, a story loosely inspired by the life of Grant's pal and production co-star Nigel Hollins.

The Drama Group show is based on the book of the same name, co-written by the pair as part of the Books Beyond Words series, founded by Hollins' mother, Baroness Sheila Hollins.

In a statement, Grant explains his involvement in the project by writing, "I often have a moan about acting as a job when I'm doing interviews. It's partly because film acting Is a bit slow and dull. And partly because I can't quite bring myself to spout the usual stuff about how wonderful the experience of making whatever film it was has been, and how much acting heals my spirit etc etc.

"But, I will say this: amateur acting was always a genuine pleasure. I had a real laugh doing plays at school and university. I genuinely loved the performing, the excitement, the bonding, the romances with the girl playing Masha, the cast parties, the b**ching, everything.

"That's one of the reasons I was keen to lend a hand in the making of this book. The other was my admiration for this series of books as a whole. I hadn't come across them until my friends Sheila and Nigel Hollins introduced me to them and I thought they were genius.

"The three of us, together with some other friends, sat around and came up with the story. And then the brilliant Lisa Kopper did the drawings. I hope people like the finished thing. I'm very proud of it."

The Drama Group play premiered at the Sadler's Wells theatre on Tuesday (13Jan15).

Sharing the news of the play on earlier on Tuesday, Grant wrote, "Today I am proud to be a baked bean."