Irish screen star Cillian Murphy (pictured) will make his West End debut alongside Hollywood’s Neve Campbell, Michael McKean and Kristen Johnston in the European premiere of Love Song, the latest play by American John Kolvenbach, who made his UK debut four years ago with On an Average Day, which starred Woody Harrelson and Kyle MacLachlan at the Comedy Theatre and which was directed by John Crowley, who will also helm the new piece.

Love Song, a romantic comedy, opens on 4 December 2006 (previews from 25 November) at the New Ambassadors Theatre, where it’s booking for a limited season to 3 March 2007.

Beane (Murphy) is an exile from life – an oddball. His well-meaning sister Joan (Johnston) and brother-in-law Harry (McKean) try and make time for him in their busy lives, but no one can get through. After Beane’s apartment is burgled, Joan is baffled to find her brother blissfully happy and tries to unravel the story behind Beane's mysterious new love Molly (Campbell).

Cork-born Murphy started his career in theatre, appearing in productions of The Country Boy, Juno and the Paycock and The Playboy of the Western World at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre, and starring in Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs at the Dublin Theatre Festival, on tour and in the subsequent screen version. His other film credits have included The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Batman Begins, 28 Days Later, Red Eye, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Sunshine, Breakfast on Pluto and Intermission.

Neve Campbell made her UK stage debut earlier this year in Robert Altman’s European premiere of Resurrection Blues at the Old Vic. She’s best known as the victimised Sidney Prescott in the Scream comedy horror series. Her other screen credits include The Craft, Three to Tango, Churchill: The Hollywood Years, Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, The Death of Harry Tobin and The Company on film, and Party of Five on TV.

Kristen Johnston, a two-time Emmy Award winner, is a familiar face from her television roles in ER and 3rd Rock from the Sun. On film, she’s been seen in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, while her New York stage credits include As You Like it, The Women and Much Ado About Nothing.

Since he found fame in the 1970s American TV sitcom Laverne and Shirley, McKean’s screen credits have included Best in Show, Relative Strangers, The Aristocrats, Little Nicky, True Crime, Teaching Mrs Tingle, Mystery Alaska, The Guru, The Brady Bunch Movie and This Is Spinal Tap, which he co-created and wrote the music for.

Director John Crowley’s many other productions have included The Pillowman, Tales from Hollywood, How I Learned to Drive and Into the Woods on stage. Love Song is designed by Scott Pask, with lighting by Howard Harrison. It’s presented by Sonia Friedman productions, Robert Bartner for Tulchin/Bartner Productions and Bob Boyett.

- by Terri Paddock