Brief Encounter at Shakespeare Theatre

In 1936, Noel Coward was looking for a follow up to the success of 1930's Private Lives, so he came up with a series of 10 short plays.  One of these was "Still Life," upon which he based the film "Brief Encounter" in 1945.  In 2008, the Kneehigh Theatre adapted the movie for the stage.  It's a mixture of play and film, with projected film footage.  The production has thrilled audiences in England, Australia, and New York, earning Tony nominations for Best Performance by a Leading Actress (Hannah Yelland), and Best Sound Design of a Play.

When Laura, a married woman on her way into town to do some shopping, gets a bit of grit in her eye at a train station, Alec Harvey, a handsome doctor, is quick to help her.  They begin spending more and more time together, sparking a passionate, doomed romance.  Set almost entirely in the train station using the words and songs of Noel Coward, it's a beautiful tear-jerker of a play.  Hannah Yelland and Jim Sturgeon are wonderful together; sweeping the audience along with their whirlwind romance.  Though it was only 90 minutes long, the audience was privy to the entire love story - from first meeting, to blossoming romance, to guilt, to the last goodbye.  The supporting cast played instruments, sang, and were part of the cast - so multitalented!  I can't say enough how much I recommend seeing this absolutely beautiful production - get there soon!

Brief Encounter
at Shakespeare Theatre - Lansburgh Theatre
through April 13


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