Back at it! Nicole Kidman beams following her return to London stage with the first performance of Photograph 51

Nicole Kidman first wowed West End audiences with her performance in David Hare’s play The Blue Room in 1998.

And now the 48-year-old has returned to the London Stage to star as British scientist Rosalind Franklin in Photograph 51.

She seemed absolutely tickled by the decision, as the actress was spotted sporting a wide grin as she left the venue on Saturday following her first performance at the Noel Coward Theatre.

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She can't stop smiling! It seems Nicole Kidman is thrilled to return to the London stage as she sported a wide grin following the first performance of Photograph 51 on Saturday

She can't stop smiling! It seems Nicole Kidman is thrilled to return to the London stage as she sported a wide grin following the first performance of Photograph 51 on Saturday

Nicole looked chic as she left the theater, donning a long, black coat with a coordinating top and fitted black trousers.

She coupled the sleek look with a pair of pointed toe black heels, and carried a large, black leather handbag.

She wore her long, blonde tresses in a center part, and pulled back into a ponytail, and sported natural make-up.

Big shoes to fill: Nicole is portraying British scientist Rosalind Franklin in the play by Anna Ziegler

Big shoes to fill: Nicole is portraying British scientist Rosalind Franklin in the play by Anna Ziegler

Fan friendly: The gracious star stopped to sign autographs following the show

Fan friendly: The gracious star stopped to sign autographs following the show

Genuine: Nicole seemed to enjoy being greeted her fans outside 

Genuine: Nicole seemed to enjoy being greeted her fans outside 

All smiles: Nicole flashed a great big grin as she spoke with fans

Feeling good: The actress was in great spirits as she mingled with the crowd

Overwhelmed: Kim was surrounded by a horde of fans after the preview performance for Photograph 51 on Saturday

Overwhelmed: Kim was surrounded by a horde of fans after the preview performance for Photograph 51 on Saturday

All part of the job! The Oscar winner was animated as she signed autographs for the people waiting outside the theater 

All part of the job! The Oscar winner was animated as she signed autographs for the people waiting outside the theater 

Overtime: Nicole couldn't stop smiling, even after her shift

Overtime: Nicole couldn't stop smiling, even after her shift

Heading home: The Australian star was greeted by a roaring crowd as she left the theater 

Heading home: The Australian star was greeted by a roaring crowd as she left the theater 

Not photographed with the beaming star were her husband Keith Urban or their children Faith Margaret and Sunday Rose. 

She was swarmed by a crowd of fans as she left the theater, and the gracious star smiled as she stopped to sign autographs after the show.

That day marked the beginning of previews for the Anna Ziegler show, which officially opens on September 14.

Classic: The blonde beauty looked chic in a long jacket, carrying a black leather handbag as she left the performance

Classic: The blonde beauty looked chic in a long jacket, carrying a black leather handbag as she left the performance

Keeping it simple: She wore her long, blonde tresses in a center part, and pulled back into a ponytail, and kept her make-up natural

Keeping it simple: She wore her long, blonde tresses in a center part, and pulled back into a ponytail, and kept her make-up natural

Back on stage: Nicole wore Fifties garb as she took to the stage on Saturday to portray Franklin 

Back on stage: Nicole wore Fifties garb as she took to the stage on Saturday to portray Franklin 

In character: Nicole also sported a darker wig and a pair of glasses 

In character: Nicole also sported a darker wig and a pair of glasses 

Photograph 51 is the name given to an x-ray image taken by a researcher at King’s College London, which revealed the double-helix shape of DNA. 

It was a crucial starting point for research by Francis Crick and James Watson, who identified how DNA was structured. 

Franklin - portrayed in the play by Nicole - was the chemist overseeing the original discovery, but has been relatively overlooked by history – while Crick and Watson won the Nobel Prize along with fellow researcher Maurice Wilkins. 

Big news: The show is named Photograph 51 after the name given to an x-ray image taken by a researcher at King’s College London, which revealed the double-helix shape of DNA

Big news: The show is named Photograph 51 after the name given to an x-ray image taken by a researcher at King’s College London, which revealed the double-helix shape of DNA

Making a difference: The discovery was a crucial starting point for research by Francis Crick and James Watson, who identified how DNA was structured

Making a difference: The discovery was a crucial starting point for research by Francis Crick and James Watson, who identified how DNA was structured

Telling her story: Franklin - portrayed in the play by Nicole - was the chemist overseeing the original discovery, but has been relatively overlooked by history – while Crick and Watson won the Nobel Prize along with fellow researcher Maurice Wilkins

Telling her story: Franklin - portrayed in the play by Nicole - was the chemist overseeing the original discovery, but has been relatively overlooked by history – while Crick and Watson won the Nobel Prize along with fellow researcher Maurice Wilkins

Fighting back: The play tells Franklin's story, and how sexism led to her being kept out of the spotlight 

Fighting back: The play tells Franklin's story, and how sexism led to her being kept out of the spotlight 

Nicole donned a red wig for the performance, as she hit the stage in a loose-fitting Fifties-era dress and a pair of glasses to embody Franklin. 

She was also spotted donning a lab coat as her character looked over an important document, before Nicole changed and headed outside to greet fans.

The performance is quite anticipated, as it has been 17 years since the Telegraph’s Charles Spencer called Nicole's The Blue Room performance 'pure theatrical Viagra.'  

In the moment: Nicole seemed to enjoy being back onstage after all these years

In the moment: Nicole seemed to enjoy being back onstage after all these years

Curtain call: The cast all sported wide grins as they hit the stage following their first performance

Curtain call: The cast all sported wide grins as they hit the stage following their first performance

Coming soon: Saturday marked the beginning of previews for the Anna Ziegler show, which officially opens on September 14

Coming soon: Saturday marked the beginning of previews for the Anna Ziegler show, which officially opens on September 14

Take a bow: It appeared the preview crowd enjoyed the performance, as the actors looked absolutely delighted as they took their bows on Saturday

Take a bow: It appeared the preview crowd enjoyed the performance, as the actors looked absolutely delighted as they took their bows on Saturday

Seemingly a role close to her heart, Nicole revealed to Dailymail.com earlier this year that she had discussed the role with her dad Dr Antony, who was a biochemist, before he died, saying: '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."'  

Nicole added there were other factors which attracted her to the role when she saw the script for the first time last year: ‘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!"' 

High expectations: The performance is quite anticipated, as it has been 17 years since the Telegraph’s Charles Spencer called Nicole's The Blue Room performance 'pure theatrical Viagra'

High expectations: The performance is quite anticipated, as it has been 17 years since the Telegraph’s Charles Spencer called Nicole's The Blue Room performance 'pure theatrical Viagra'

Critical acclaim: Nicole previously impressed critics with her appearance 17 years earlier in David Hare’s play The Blue Room (pictured)

Critical acclaim: Nicole previously impressed critics with her appearance 17 years earlier in David Hare’s play The Blue Room (pictured)

 

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