The Emmy Award winner, known for playing Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren in the prison TV show, will star in a modern adaptation of Jean Genet's psychological thriller The Maids.

Aduba and British actress Zawe Ashton play house helpers Solange and Claire, who plot the violent death of their employer, who is portrayed by Carmichael.

Aduba explains why she wanted to work with theatre director Jamie Lloyd, saying, "Jamie reinvents classic plays in a way that we've never seen before or have explored before. That's exciting as an actor. To be part of a play that allows for three women to mine such complex characters inside of an already rich and thrilling story, is the stuff that acting dreams are made on."

Carmichael insists the tale is vastly different to her TV drama Downton Abbey, which ends this year (15).

She tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "This version of The Maids feels brutal and modern and the characters aren't too tied to the idea of mistress and maid. It's weirder than that."

The Maids opens in February (16) at London's Trafalgar Studios.