Berkoff’s finest pieces – Lunch and The Bow of Ulysses – has been revived by Director Nigel Harman and premieres at Trafalgar Studios early October. It explores human relationships after a couple meet for the first time on a park bench and we witness them two decades later after years of coupledom. This two-parter, promises to be an exciting and provocative presentation of Berkoff’s masterful writing starring Shaun Dooley and Emily Bruni, and we caught up with them to tell us more.
- Describe LUNCH and THE BOW OF ULYSSES in 3 words.
Shaun Dooley – Damaged people colliding.
Emily Bruni – Relationship, love, pain
- Tell us about the character you play?
SD – Tom is driven by sex but desperate for intimacy. Deeply unhappy and unfulfilled but everything is hidden beneath a well-worn mask.
EB – A lonely woman looking for connection
- The piece is made up of 2 parts: Lunch and its sequel The Bow of Ulysses, how do they work together?
SD – They are set 20yrs apart. What’s beautiful is that we get to see the same two people twenty years later. A whole lifetime of a relationship in two short plays.
EB – We see the same relationship 20 years apart
- What are your 3 dressing room must-haves?
SD – Photograph of my wife and 4 children. The script. I’ll be reading and still working on it right up until the final performance. Music. Music to calm me down, music for my character and music to gee me up before the show.
EB – Water, dark chocolate, toothbrush
- Last production you saw at the theatre?
SD – People, Places and Things. Utterly blew my mind.
EB – My Eyes Went Dark at Traverse Edinburgh
- What has been your career highlight so far?
SD – My favourite character I’ve played is probably Jo Gargery in Great Expectations. As for career highlight… It feels a bit vain to answer that, I’m incredibly lucky to be working in such a highly competitive industry.
EB – Working with Wayne McGregor of the Royal Ballet
- What do you normally do on your day off?
SD – Worry about not working.
EB – Be with my family
- Who’s your hero?
SD – My wife Polly. She’s incredible. A totally selfless human being, the glue holding everything together.
EB – My best friend, voice coach John Tucker
- Who would you most like to work with?
SD – I’ve been lucky to work with some incredible actors in my career. In the future I would love to one day work with Sean Penn.
EB – Shaun Dooley and Nigel Harman
- Best place for a post-show night cap?
SD – No idea. It’s my first time in a theatre in the West End so I’ll have to, unfortunately, try out all the pubs in the area! 🙂
EB – Bocca di Lupo or Archer Street
- Theatre you’d most like to be locked in overnight?
SD – The Cambridge Theatre. So I can get on one of those giant swings in Matilda.
EB – Theatre Royal Drury lane
- What’s next for you?
SD – Christmas!!!!! We love Christmas in the Dooley house!
EB – Being a mum
(Photo courtesy of Marc Brenner)