Robin Williams will play a Bengal tiger in a new Broadway play.

The 59-year-old actor will portray an orange striped big cat in Rajiv Joseph's 'Bengal Tiger at Baghdad Zoo' - a play about a tiger held captive in the Iraqi capital's zoo analysing two US marines - and admits he is "hairy enough" for the role.

He said: "It just hit me hard, it was so powerful. I read it, and I was going, 'I'm in. I can come into it and create it from the ground up.'

"And I'm hairy enough to be a tiger, so that's good.

"Most of the time most of the characters are, to be blunt, Ghosts. I mean, I don't want to spoil it but right off the bat, you're in Iraq, it's all these ghosts wondering around, talking and gaining more consciousness as they continue through the play."

The play was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year, and it will be Robin's debut Broadway show as an actor, having previously done a stand-up comedy routine on a limited run in 2002.

'Bengal Tiger at Baghdad Zoo' - to be directed by Moises Kaufman - is due to open on March 31, 2011.