“Utterly charming - from arrival to departure”
Sir Noël Coward was known for not only pushing the boundaries of his time but for his subtle, yet effective storytelling through wit and sentiment. Emma Rice’s adaptation of ‘Brief Encounter’, expertly directed by Sarah Frankcom, is no different.
Starting its life as a one-act play of just five scenes, Coward presented the then called ‘Still Life’ as part of an anthology of short plays under the title ‘Tonight At 8:30’, in 1936. It has been adapted multiple times since its premiere- most notably the beloved Oscar nominated 1945 film which is regularly cited in polls as one of the greatest films of all time.
The protagonist of the piece is Laura (Hannah Azuonye), a married woman with children who lives a prosaic life until a serendipitous encounter with a married stranger in a railway station changes her life. The plot is also intertwined with other portrayals of love through its array of strong characters, each of whom we, as an audience, are rooting for throughout.