The pair will reunite to work on The Ferryman, which will debut at London's Royal Court Theatre from April (16).

The play, Butterworth's first stage show in five years, is set in rural Londonderry in 1981, at the height of the hunger strikes during the Northern Ireland conflict, known as The Troubles.

The Jerusalem playwright, who is also known for his work on movies Edge of Tomorrow and Black Mass, tells London's Evening Standard, "It is a play about a family where the past comes back into the present in a way that shows it was never really buried.

"It is set during the end of the hunger strike, but it is away from that urban setting of the hunger strike and set on a farm where the main preoccupation is bringing the harvest in.

"It is looking at the notion of whether you care for the land with a capital L or a small l, and whether you take up the sword or the plough."

Mendes, who began his career in theatre, last worked on the London stage in a West End production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2013.