It’s simply thrilling. Alec and Laura return for another Brief Encounter

Gosh, how frightfully exciting. Emma Rice’s terribly thrilling production of Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter is making a comeback.

The Kneehigh production, adapted and directed by Emma Rice, will be produced live on stage at the Empire Cinema, Haymarket, in London’s West End by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers, Jenny & Steve Wiener and The Old Vic. 

Prior to the West End, Brief Encounter will play Birmingham Repertory Theatre and The Lowry, Salford in February.

Emma Rice said: “I’ve always loved getting lost in the dark, and the cinema is one of the best places to do it.

“However, a film doesn’t change. It carries on whether you are there or not with performances captured forever, never altering. 

“My production of Brief Encounter combines the romance of cinema with all that live theatre can offer – magic, passion, surprise, suggestion and naughtiness. 

“I carry this show in my heart and couldn’t be more excited to return to this heart-pounding production and bring it back to its rightful home at the Empire Cinema.

“Radical and romantic, nostalgic but oh, so relevant – let passions ignite!”

Producers David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers said: “Emma Rice’s award-winning theatrical production of Brief Encounter is one of the highlights of our producing career.

“It is incredibly exciting to bring it back to London’s West End after it has triumphed all over the world and to present it in the restored Empire Cinema, which was built in 1926 as the Carlton Theatre.

“Our wonderful stage production of Brief Encounter switches between live action and film, so we will once again be turning the cinema into a theatre especially for this show.  

“We are very proud to be working again with Emma on this spellbinding production, which we hope a new generation will now have the chance to see, as well as those who may have missed it the first time or loved it so much they just have to come back and see it again.”

A chance meeting in a railway station café where they were brought together by Laura ‘getting a little piece of grit in my eye’, led to one of the most haunting and heart-breaking love stories ever told.

The award-winning Kneehigh production of Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter, which was originally produced at Birmingham Rep, triumphed in the West End in 2008 and subsequently received great critical acclaim on Broadway and went on to tour worldwide.

The cast will be headed by Jim Sturgeon as Alec and Isabel Pollen as Laura.

They are joined by Lucy Thackeray, Beverly Rudd, Jos Slovick, Dean Nolan, Katrina Kleve and Peter Dukes


2-17 February, Birmingham Repertory Theatre
20-24 February, The Lowry, Salford
2 March – 2 September, Empire Cinema, Haymarket


Brief Encounter from WeAreKneehigh on Vimeo.





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