Actor Paul Rudd is set to tackle the role of legendary physicist Albert Einstein in a one-off play reading at the World Science Festival.

The star, best known for his comedy roles in films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and the Anchorman franchise, will appear as Einstein in Alan Alda play Dear Albert, which is based on the genius' letters and personal notes.

The production will also feature Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon and actress Francesca Faridany as the women in the scientist's life.

It will launch the five-day World Science Festival in New York on 28 May (14).