Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter, adapted and directed by Emma Rice, will return to the West End beginning March 2, 2018, at the Empire Cinema Haymarket.
Produced by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers, Jenny and Steve Wiener, and The Old Vic, the production will officially open March 11 for a limited season through September 2. Prior to London, Brief Encounter will play Birmingham Repertory Theatre February 2–17 and The Lowry, Salford February 20–24.
The cast will feature Jim Sturgeon as Alec, Isabel Pollen as Laura, Lucy Thackeray as Myrtle, Beverly Rudd as Beryl, Jos Slovick as Stanley, and Dean Nolan as Fred/Albert with Katrina Kleve and Peter Dukes.
In a statement 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; performances are 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 Pugh and Rogers added, “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.”
The award-winning Kneehigh production of Coward’s Brief Encounter, originally produced at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, triumphed in the West End in 2008 and subsequently on Broadway and went on to tour worldwide.
The upcoming production will also have designs by Neil Murray, with lighting by Malcolm Rippeth, original music by Stu Barker, sound by Simon Baker, and projection by Gemma Carrington and Jon Driscoll.