The Moulin Rouge! star will perform in London's West End for the first time in 17 years in Photograph 51, a drama about real-life scientist Rosalind Franklin, a pioneer in DNA research in the 1950s.

Kidman's biochemist father Dr. Antony Kidman knew about Franklin's work and was eager for the actress to take on the project before he died after suffering a fall in September (14).

She tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "My dad was a biochemist and he knew all about Rosalind Franklin... When I told him I was thinking about doing it, he was very excited. Then my dad passed away last September. I went, 'All right, I need to do this for my father'.

"It's written by a woman, and it's about a woman that a lot of women don't know about... and I need to do it because I've got to get back on stage, into that uncomfortable place of going, 'I'm terrified!'"

Photograph 51, directed by Michael Grandage, opens at the Noel Coward Theatre on 14 September (15).