Tommy Tiernan told RTÉ Entertainment that he is 'very excited' to make his theatre return in an upcoming production of John B. Keane's Sive in the Gaiety Theatre.

It was announced on Friday that Tiernan would star in the new production of the play, which comes from the Druid Theatre Company and will be directed by Garry Hynes, and the stand-up comedian is "very excited" to get to work with such "amazing" material.

"It's been a long time since I've acted on stage, even though what I do each week is a form of acting; I'm pretending to be a stand-up comedian," he told RTÉ Entertainment.

"It's a different kind of storytelling; what I usually do is so, it's not tied to a story, the whole thing, I do flights of fancy. I'm in control of everything as well, I decide what I say, how I move, how I do it, so I have to surrender authority to those, so I'm excited by it."

Tiernan, who will take the role of the matchmaker Thomasheen, added that he is excited to work with a team of people, as most of his job sees him working alone.

"I work so much on my own that I'm delighted to be able to work with other people. Preparation for a stand-up gig is, you arrive in the venue, have some soup, tell some jokes and drive away," he said. "This is slightly more classical, slightly more proper, there is no school of stand-up comedy, and this is a bit more orthodox, the acting thing."

"I wouldn't have cast myself in this, so you have to trust other people's judgment and it's good to be put into places where you wouldn't have seen yourself… So we'll see, it's an adventure," he added.

Tony Award-winning director Garry Hynes will helm the production, and she hailed Tiernan as a "terrific actor" saying she is "really looking forward to getting into the rehearsal room."

Speaking about the lasting appeal of Sive, Hynes told RTÉ Entertainment, "It's a great play, great characters, a fantastic story, very funny in places, very bleak and disturbing in others, a hint of magic, a hint of the spiritual – John B's work is unique."

Hynes' production will see one major change to the original play; two roles traditionally played by men will be played by women.

"We've done this play before, and audiences may have seen it before, and we've decided to look for ways to freshen the storytelling if you like… There are two characters, two men of the road who seem to know that something very disturbing is going on beneath the surface, and we've decided to cast those two men as women; mother and daughter rather than father and son," Hynes said.

"It immediately puts a different angle on it, so I'm looking forward to seeing because all of these things are gambles, you don't know until you put it on stage, but it seemed to me at the moment to be very interesting."

Sive will run in the Gaiety Theatre from January 26 – March 3, 2018.