Casting announced for LUV at Park Theatre

Buckland Theatre Company has announced casting for LUV, the company’s second production at PARK90 at Park Theatre. Directed by Gary Condes, Nick Barber will play Milt, Elsie Bennett will play Ellen and Charles Dorfman will play Harry. Written by Murray Schisgal (best known for co-writing the screenplay for Tootsie), LUV premiered on Broadway in 1964 directed by Mike Nichols and was Tony nominated for Best Play and Best Author. LUVwill play at PARK90 from 8 December until 7 January with an official press night on 13 December.

Playwright Murray Schisgal said: “I am thrilled that my play LUV will be returning to London to play at Park Theatre for the first since it originally appeared at the Arts Theatre in the early 1960s. I will be celebrating my 90th birthday this November, so it is a lovely celebration to see three young and brilliant actors take on these roles over fifty years after Alan Arkin, Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson played them on Broadway.”

LUV is a 1960s riotous celebration of the absurd lengths we go to when struck down with the terrible affliction known as love. After reuniting one fateful night, old school pals Milt and Harry uncover each other’s miserable life stories before hatching a plan to find their happily-ever-afters.

The production originally debuted at the Arts Theatre before opening in New York in November 1964. The original New York cast was comprised of Alan Arkin, Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson and the play won three Tony Awards whilst being nominated for Best Play and Best Author of a Play. Barbara Bel Geddes, Larry Blyden, Gene Wilder and Gabriel Dell were among the replacement performers later in the run on Broadway. LUV was later adapted into a film in 1967 and starred Jack Lemmon, Peter Falk and Elaine May.

Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock), founder of and, will host a post-show Q&A with director Gary Condes and cast members ofLUV to discuss the show and its heritage on Thursday 15 December. Terri hosted Buckland’s previous Q&A for Some Girl(s) and a podcast and images from the event can be found here.

Murray Schisgal is a Tony and Academy Award nominated writer whose extensive career spans across plays, fiction and screenplays. Murray’s plays include LUV (Tony nominated for Best Play and Best Author), Jimmy Shine, All Over Town (Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding New Play), The Chinese and Doctor Fish, Twice Around The Park, An American Millionaire and The Typists and the Tiger (Vernon Rice Award, Outer Circle Award). In addition to his work on stage, Murray co-wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award nominated film Tootsie which starred Dustin Hoffman and his further work on screen includes the screenplay for The Tiger Makes Out, The Love Song of Barney Kempinski and Natasha Kovolina Pipashinsky. Murray has also produced and executive produced five feature-length films, A Walk On The Moon, Boys and Girls, The Devil’s Arithmetic, Clubland and A Separate Peace. Murray’s novelDays and Nights of a French Horn Player was published by Little Brown in 1980.

Nick Barber will play Milt. Nick’s previous theatre credits include Dingle/Voltaire in The Life and Times of Fanny Hill (Bristol Old Vic), Laurencio in A Lady of Little Sense (Theatre Royal Bath), Ossario in Don Gil of The GreenBreeches (Theatre Royal Bath), Federico in Punishment Without Revenge (Theatre Royal Bath), CIA Agent in Blood and Gifts (National Theatre), Happy in Death of a Salesman (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Will in His Dark Materials(West Yorkshire Playhouse/Birmingham Rep), Dumaine in Love’s Labour’s Lost (Rose Theatre Kingston), Modicum in I Saw Myself (The Wrestling School), Michael Cassio in Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe), Ralph Clark in Our Country’s Good (Liverpool Playhouse), Valentine in Faust (Punchdrunk), Palamon/Squire/Rioter in The Canterbury Tales (Royal Shakespeare Company), Eric Birling in An Inspector Calls (PW Productions), Don Alonso in The Gentleman From Olmedo (Watermill), Florindo in The Venetian Twins (Watermill), Cassius in Julius Caesar (Menier Theatre) and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet (Southwark Playhouse). In addition to his work on stage Nick has also appeared on television in New Blood, Cuffs, Red Dwarf, Free Agents, The Waltz King, The Brief and Midsomer Murders and on film in Colour Me Kubrick and Complete Female Stage Beauty. Nick also voices Rex Fairbrother on BBC Radio 4’s The Archers.  

Elsie Bennett will play Ellen. Elsie studied at Arts Ed. She most recently starred on stage as Queen Elizabeth I in Progress (Red Rose Chain) and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (Tabard Theatre).  In addition to her work on stage, Elsie has appeared on screen in Birds Of A Feather and Joanna Lumley’s Little Cracker. Elsie also works extensively as a voice artist and recently completed work on the Hitman series and Squadron 42.

Charles Dorfman will play Harry. Charles studied Theatre at Trinity College Dublin and the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Los Angeles, Theatre credits include Some Girl(s) (Park Theatre), Miss Julie (Etcetera Theatre), Taking Steps,Dangerous Corner, and Wuthering Heights (all Manor Pavilion Sidmouth). On screen Charles has appeared in Myrtle (dir. James Alexandrou), The Show (dir. James Alexandrou) and Present (dir. Joe Ballerini).

Buckland Theatre Company was founded by Artistic Director Charles Dorfman. Miss Julie at Etcetera Theatre was the company’s debut production in their 2016 season of classic and modern texts followed by Some Girl(s) at PARK90 at Park Theatre.

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