Dame Maggie Smith is to return to the stage for the first time in 12 years.

The 84-year-old actress will star in one-woman play 'A German Life,' which has been written by Christopher Hampton and chronicles the life of Brunhilde Ponsel, the personal secretary of Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels.

The production is based on the interviews Brunhilde gave to Austrian filmmakers for their documentary, which was also called 'A German Life', before she died in 2017 at the age of 106.

She told the team she was naïve to the Nazi crimes of the time despite working at the heart of their propaganda machine.

She is quoted as saying: ''I had no idea what was going on. Or very little. No more than most people. So you can't make me feel guilty.''

The 'Clash of the Titans' star will soon be seen portraying the famous figure as she struggles to make ends meet working in Berlin during the 1930s.

Before working for Goebbels, Brunhilde was a struggling secretary, with her employers including a Jewish insurance broker and the German Broadcasting Corporation.

Maggie last took to the stage in 2007 when she starred in 'The Lady From Dubuque.'

'A German Life' - which is directed by Jonathan Kent - will be staged at the Bridge Theatre in London later this year.

Previews will begin on April 6, with the show ending after a five-week run on May 11.

Booking has opened for theatre priority members ahead of public booking becoming available from February 26.