US actress Helen Hunt will star in a production about “a highly contagious virus” at the Old Vic in London this autumn.

Academy Award winner Hunt, 59, rose to fame portraying Jamie Buchman in the sitcom Mad About You, for which she won three Golden Globes.

She went on to star in hits such as romantic comedy As Good As It Gets and drama The Sessions.

From September, Hunt will star in the European premiere of Eureka Day, a production following a progressive school in Berkeley, California, which descends into chaos after an outbreak of mumps.

As the public health scare develops, the parents on the Eureka Day school’s Executive Committee realise tolerance and togetherness achieve very little when attempting to reach a decision on mandatory vaccination.

Speaking about the production, artistic director at the Old Vic, Matthew Warchus said: “Following on from our enjoyable collaboration on The 47th earlier this year, I’m very happy to be working with Sonia Friedman again on this brilliantly wince-inducing, laugh-out-loud, timely and volatile satire.

“Written in 2017, incredibly, before the Covid pandemic, Jonathan Spector’s Eureka Day is a very funny, clever and thought-provoking new play set amidst the panic of a highly contagious virus.

“I had the privilege of working with Helen Hunt almost 20 years ago on the Broadway transfer of Yasmina Reza’s Life x 3, it’s truly a joy welcoming her to The Old Vic for this spectacular production.”

Hunt is no stranger to the stage, having previously performed in a 1998 production of Twelfth Night, and Much Ado About Nothing in 2010.

Eureka Day was written by Jonathan Spector in 2017, and the new production will be directed by Katy Rudd, with Sonia Friedman Productions co-producing.

Friedman was also a co-producer on the Old Vic’s recent production of The 47th, a satirical interpretation of a possible outcome of the 2024 presidential election.

Bertie Carvel starred as Donald Trump, while Tamara Tunie portrayed Kamala Harris and Lydia Wilson played Ivanka Trump.

Eureka Day will run from September 6 to October 31 at the Old Vic in London.

The show’s full cast and the creative team are still to be announced.