Friends star David Schwimmer – the executive producer of a new film version of Alexander Zeldin’s play Love – has claimed theatre is more relevant than ever in an age of smartphones and screens.
He said that in the era of screens theatre was “becoming more and more exciting”.
Schwimmer is co-founder of Chicago based Lookingglass Theatre Company, which produced a version of Zeldin’s Beyond Caring for US audiences.
He was subsequently asked to be an executive producer on the forthcoming screen adaptation of Zeldin’s Love, which ran at the National Theatre in 2016.
At an event to launch the drama ahead of its screening on BBC2 next month, Schwimmer said: “One of the reasons I feel theatre is becoming more and more exciting as an experience is that we are so used to our screens and living in isolation. And there are very few moments we can get together as a community.”
The actor and director also said theatre could “illuminate certain social problems and illnesses within society”.
He said this allowed “people to think about them and be moved by them”, and that audiences could “feel what is like to be another person in another circumstance”.
“That is why I feel, more than ever, that theatre is the most exciting place to be,” he added.
Zeldin described making Love for the screen as “a baptism of fire”.
“But I had so much support from people I was working with that it was possible to forget it was a play and re-imagine it as a film,” he added.