David Schwimmer is exec producing a television adaptation of British stage play Love for the BBC. The Friends star is one of the team behind the feature-length film, which is being produced by McMafia producer Cuba Pictures.
Love, written and directed by National Theatre Artist in Residence Alexander Zeldin, tells the story of families brought together and placed in temporary accommodation in the run up to Christmas.
It follows Colin, a middle-aged man, played by Nick Holder, who starred in ABC’s Galavant and C4’s Coalition, and his elderly mother Barbara, played by Wuthering Heights star Anna Calder-Marshall, who are relocated from their previous housing, and a young couple – Dean and Emma – preparing to welcome a new child into their family. Luke Clarke and Janet Etuk, who were in the original stage play, reprise their roles as Dean and Emma.
The play originally opened at the National Theatre in December 2016 in a co-production with Birmingham Rep, before transferring to the Rep in 2017. It is Zeldin’s debut feature film.
The television adaptation, which will air on BBC Two in late autumn as part of the BBC’s Performance Live strand is a co-production between Cuba Pictures and the National Theatre for BBC Films, BBC Arts and the Arts Council. It is being exec produced by Schwimmer, Dixie Linder and Nick Marston for Cuba Pictures, Rufus Norris for the National Theatre, Emma Cahusac for BBC Arts, and Polly Stokes for BBC Films. It is produced by Caroline Lawrence.
Zeldin says: “During one of those meetings that seem to be more than simple chance, a friend gave me a report about families in bed and breakfasts at Christmas. These are families living in limbo, in emergency housing in the run up to Christmas. Here, in a very direct kind of language, were testimonies, voices that spoke truthfully about families, fear, about an individual’s struggle with society, and above all, about love. I wanted to look into the most essential intimacy that we all share: children, parents, care for others, hopes and longing. A crucial step in the creation of Love was meeting these families, visiting them at home and over two years, involving them at various stages in rehearsals, in improvisations based on the scenes in the piece. The stories I seek to tell are those of the everyday, of apparently simple struggles in Britain today.”
Rose Garnett, Director of BBC Films, adds, “We are thrilled Alexander Zeldin is making his first feature film with the BBC. I’ve been watching his stage work for some time and his poignant, contemporary and human way of storytelling is going to resonate deeply with the BBC Two audience. Together with our partners at BBC Arts, Arts Council England, Cuba Pictures and the National Theatre, this is going to be a very special film not to be missed.”
Linder and Marson add, “We have been massive fans of Alexander’s incredible theatre work for many years and are delighted to be working with him on his first film. Love was an extraordinary play and we are so pleased a wider audience will be able to see it.”