Sunday, 2 March 2008

brief encounter

Brief Encounter
A fine evening's entertaiment yesterday. I shall have to write about the Tiger Tiger part separately though. We decided to see the recent adaptation of 'Brief Encounter' which is running in the Cinema in the Haymarket, which is being used as a theatre for this show.

Its one of those immersive events. You walk into the foyer of a 1930's cinema, with uniformed usherettes and tea and cucumbers being served amongst the popcorn. The whole production is a delight, the actors move around in the audience, there's black and white film inserts shown, a superb ensemble band and a kind of relaxed excellence about the whole production.

There's rock cakes, platform refreshments served by a lad, subsidiary romances alongside the main event and all manner of steamy evocations of the era. As a play it balances the action of the main affair between the chiselled faced doctor played by Tristan Sturrock and the desparate housewife of Naomi Frederick who goes shopping via the train every Thursday.

Alongside them are other members of the excellent Kneehigh ensemble who hail from Cornwall and are each multi-talented at acting, movement, singing and general musicianship.
Before it starts formally, with its own special Certficate and the clatter of a 1930's projector, we get tunes and songs from the musicians, and then again in the interval, along with a series of black and white movie advertisements for stain removers and toupees. A few moments of very entertaining front of curtain stage acts decoy us through set changes too.

The cinema effects are used well, including the actors on stage fusing with those on screen such as when the greyness of an unexciting marriage is portrayed.

I found the show very captivating, and the time flew by. There was plenty of applause at the end and a refrain of one of the excellent (mainly Noel Coward penned) songs.
If you get a chance, its one to see. Trailer here

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