5 Reasons to See Brief Encounter

Posted on 15 March 2018

Brief Encounter has taken to screen and stage in the West End, in the Empire Cinema no less, and is ready to entertain London for months to come. The run isn’t urgently coming to an end, but September will be here in no time and you certainly don’t want to miss out on this classic. Here’s why you shouldn’t sit on this play and should get your tickets sharpish.

  1. Staging – Whilst this play has taken the stages of the world by storm, it particularly takes to the stage at the Empire Cinema, and it doesn’t stop where the stage ends either, as they step over the line and come into the audience more than once. The stage set-up is simple and sweet, projections and the ever so slight change of props create a scene with a flourish. It’s not over the top, that’s the job for the production itself, but instead is the perfect backdrop to give the cast the platform they need to shine.
  2. Cinema combined with live theatre Brief Encounter is a renowned and well-loved old movie, and this production eludes to that with brilliant projections which showcases the period of the 1930’s before the Blitz of WWII hits. The cleverness of this combination allows for the story to be made all the more three dimensional for its use of both live theatre and two-dimensional projections and cinema, which showcases just how powerful the story truly is.
  3. Forbidden love story – This Noël Coward tragic love story is one of the most known tales of woe in the world. In this case, the forbidden love is an affair, accidental and brief to begin with but then a bright flame so strong it burns those too close to it. The production for this retelling of the story is executed so brilliantly that you too feel the burn of a love that can’t be. It not only crushes those involved but those who look on, aimlessly routing for a love that cannot flourish in freedom, always forced to be hidden until they can’t take it anymore.
  4. Classically theatrical – Whilst this story is full of heartbreak it isn’t all doom and gloom. Contrasted with the heartache of Laura and Alec, is the young love of Beryl and Stanley, which is all giggles and innocent beginnings. Yes, the heart of the story is the torrid affair, but the play is full of cliché humour and packed with comedic effects, lightening the mood perfectly to create a balance that sits happily with the audience.
  5. Cast – Having such a classic weigh down on your shoulders can’t be an easy task but this cast did not let that get them down as they put on a show to remember. Jim Sturgeon (Alec) and Isabel Pollen (Laura) held a strong intensity that navigated the show through whilst the rest of the cast hopped in and out of roles effortlessly. They played instruments, complete with song, dance and even puppetry. A big show stealer for me was Jos Slovick (Stanley) who sang so beautifully, it created the setting all on its own, perfectly melodic and adding wonderfully to the production as a whole.

Brief Encounter is playing at the Empire Cinema through September 2nd. You can book Brief Encounter tickets here.

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By Jade Ali

A love for theatre stemmed from my love of literature and music, but the West End on my doorstep opened up a whole new appreciation and passion for all things stage-y