Brief Encounter at Empire Cinemas Haymarket

After recently experiencing the wonder that is The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (Kneehigh’s latest show; now on tour), I was very excited to see the revival of the company’s 2008 hit, Brief Encounter – the two shows, which are both directed by Emma Rice and deal with a love affair using similar theatrical devices, naturally invite comparison. This theatrical adaptation of Noël Coward’s 1936 play and David Lean’s 1945 film, which incorporates many of Coward’s classic songs, tells the story of the affair between housewife Laura and GP Alec in a wonderful spectacle somewhere between theatre, musical theatre and film.

Anyone familiar with Kneehigh’s work will know their knack for fusing music and dance, theatricality and physicality, stagecraft and whimsicality into elaborately staged experiences. On this front, Brief Encounter is typical Kneehigh fare. The set consists of a scaffolding-like construction of the bridge above two railway platforms, under which the station tea