DIANA Vickers is to join the cast of The Entertainer which comes to Manchester in October as part of a UK tour.

The former X Factor semi-finalist who became an award-winning musical theatre star will play Jean Rice is a new adaptation of John Osborne’s play.

Shane Richie has already been announced as Archie Rice, a washed-up entertainer playing a summer season.

The setting of the play has been changed for the first time from 1957 to 1982.

Accrington-born Diana, who topped the singles chart with Once, has starred in a number of theatre productions including the Rocky Horror Show, Son of a Preacher Man and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

Director Sean O’Connor said: “I fell in love with Diana’s feisty but vulnerable LV in The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice when I saw it in the West End and am very excited about what she’ll bring to the role of Jean in The Entertainer, a young woman whose political conscience has been awakened by the Falklands war and who struggles in her combative relationship with her feckless father, Archie.”

Sara Crowe, who recently appeared as Ruth in the UK Tour of Calendar Girls, the Musical, will play Archie’s wife Phoebe.

The Entertainer will open in Leicester in August and tour the UK until the end of November. The play was chosen by Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington as one of the greatest plays of the 20th century.

The Entertainer, Manchester Opera House, Monday, October 28 to Saturday, November 3. Details from 0844 871 3018 or www.atgtickets.com