|Date:||Monday 19th March 2018|
Empire Cinema, Haymarket, London
Emma Rice brings us another winner with a long awaited second outing for Brief Encounter. I loved the original Kneehigh version of the film classic, but Emma has worked her magic again and brings us a slightly shorter version with no interval which works perfectly.
Brief Encounter contains everything that makes Kneehigh productions so very special - inventive set, fabulous cast, great comedy, puppetry, wonderful musicians, not one, but three love stories and quirky, unexpected delights. The whole cast are superb, with our star crossed lovers played just as Noel Coward envisaged them – Isobel Pollen and Jim Sturgeon are just right as the perfectly mannered and easily embarrassed, guilt ridden, 1930's middle class couple. The fun in this show is what unfolds around them as we watch their beautiful yet doomed love story unfold and, ultimately, collapse.
Dean Nolan's performance is mesmerising as he portrays three very different characters, while his acrobatic skills elicited loud cheers throughout the show. Dean's romantic pairing with the marvellous Lucy Thackeray is riotously funny with the audience going wild for their hilarious and very sexy dance sequence.
Beverly Rudd is fast rising to the top as one of our finest comedy actresses - Kneehigh recognised her many talents a long time ago and Beverly’s varied roles in this production once again allow her to strut her stuff in her own magnificent style. Beverly also has a love interest in the form of another multi talented actor Jos Slovick, their romance is a no holds barred filthy romp, but when Jos sings he takes our breath away.
Brief Encounter is pure Kneehigh, leading us on an adventure with a great story, comedy on a grand scale, wonderful music, visual delights, steam trains, black and white film and plenty of fun. Nobody does it better.