Luke Allen-Gale is currently playing the role of Nick in The American Plan at St James Theatre in Victoria.
Luke trained at Drama Centre London.
His theatre credits include: It’s Raining Cows (Roundhouse); Hours ‘til Autumn (Tristan Bates Theatre).
Credits whilst training include: The Sam Wanamaker Festival (Shakespeare’s Globe); Twelfth Night; The Herbal Bed; The Good Person Of Szechwan; Two Noble Kinsmen; Napoli Milionaria; The Cherry Orchard; The Winslow Boy.
Luke sat down recently to have Tea With Wilma so we could find out all about him and the show!
1. Can you tell me about the story of The American Plan and what people can expect from the show if they come to see it?
An American Plan is the name given to the banquet style menu at the infamous American resorts of the 50’s and 60’s. A style of living that despite its seeming excess, was a statement of the FULLNESS and diversity in choice of the American life, something the writer etches against the backdrop of the play and the idealism shared amongst its young leads, Nick & Lily. But what if that socially idealised ‘plan’ for a full and fruitful all-American life is at its beginnings, built of very different foundations? Must we be true to ourselves in order to accomplish our dreams? What if some scars are too deep and some romances too strong? Expect laughter, intrigue, romance and deception from the play and a lovely evening in the company of the brilliant staff and the beautifully crafted St James Theatre.
2. How would you describe yourself as a person (in 5 words or less)?
Healthy, happy, positive and stubborn
3. Do you have any pre show rituals that you have found yourself getting into?
I have to dip under the shower before the show regardless so I’ve now got into a habit of coming in after a gym, run or cycle session and having a full blown shower in the st james before we start. I once went on with a small group of soap sudds on my shorts I’m told… Otherwise, the usual vocal warm ups and stretching. I also have a tattoo I have to hide.
4. If you could be the opposite sex for a day, what theatre character would you like to play?
Beatrice in Much Ado. I love her dry humour and sharp tongue.
5. Do you have any dream theatre roles you would like to play?
Too many to mention. Seriously, so many. The only ones that stand out right now are Hotspur, Iago, Mercutio, henry V, Brick (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Jimmy Porter, Luke in Cool Hand Luke, George in Of Mice & Men….the list goes on and on….
6. Have there been any funny/awful moment that have happened to you on stage?
Yes. Whilst performing in my final year at Drama Centre London we were doing a production of The Herbal Bed, in the traverse. During a very intimate scene where I had to remove a fellow actor’s blouse, a phone that went off was quickly stifled and wrestled back into a handbag, only for a strange ‘white noise’ to permeate the delicate atmosphere and a loud “HELLO?” to come blasting into the space. No one could hide, especially myself and my colleague so there was much laughter from the audience. We, however, we’re terrified enough not to let it affect us at the time but still recollect it and laugh now.
7. What theatre show would you like to see make a comeback and why?
Any Lorca play. I have such a love for the man and the Spainish free-thinkers around the time of the fascist uprising. I have read his beautiful shorter plays too that just cut off halfway through where his work was destroyed and never found. His zest for strong female characters I admired and his left-field imagination that was part of the river of influence flowing out of Barcalona and The Catalan district at the time. It has a palpable and rich organic flavour to it whilst possessing the danger of being so raw.
8. What was the last show you saw (apart from the one you are in) and what did you think of it?
I saw Blanche McIntyre’s version of The Seagull at Richmond and I found it a refreshing and beautifully cast piece that had a bold and invigorating set-up. I am a fan of Miss McIntyre, she’s a smart cookie.