Russell Crowe has signed up to take part in a 'Ben Hur' stadium show in Australia.

The 'Robin Hood' star - who won the Best Actor Oscar in 2000 for his role as a Roman soldier in 'Gladiator' - will narrate the $15 million production 'Ben Hur: The Stadium Spectacular', which tells the story of a galley slave who dared to defy the Roman Empire.

The Australian actor is thrilled to be a part of the production but insists he is happy to stay behind the scenes.

He said: "I think there comes a time in every gladiator's life when you've got to give the reins over to the next bloke.

"It's a gigantic production. It's so ambitious and I just had to get involved. It's a hoot."

The 46-year-old Hollywood star also revealed what the audience can expect from the action-packed show, which is based on the Charlton Heston movie 'Ben-Hur'.

He said: "It's not a play. It's not a musical. It's a spectacle. And you know you've got your chariot races, you've got a boat being boarded by female pirates, Pontius Pilate making his decision over Christ's future, so it's gigantic, it's amazing."

It is believed the actor - who has two sons, Charles, six, and four-year-old Tennyson, with wife Danielle Spencer - agreed to take part in the show so he could spend time with his family in Sydney, where it is being staged.

More than 2,000 performers will take part in the production, which was originally staged in France in 2006.