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Posts Tagged ‘Harry Pizzey’

I was so keen to see this again, in a small theatre, and a favourite one at that, that I hadn’t realised that the last revival was only just over three years ago (https://garethjames.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/brief-encounter). It’s Emma Rice’s best show (I feel qualified to say this as I’ve seen over twenty) but this revival is the work of Robert Kirby, whose work I don’t know. It turned out to be a very good decision to make the journey to Newbury.

It’s Rice’s adaptation of the film, which was itself a screen adaptation by Noel Coward of his own play, Still Life. The only thing we don’t get this time around is the film footage, but what’s added is brilliant on-stage ‘foley’ sound effects. The staging is different, but just as inventive, and the appropriateness of the cinema setting of 2018 is compensated by the intimacy the Watermill provides, making the unfolding romance more intense, beautifully played by Laura Lake-Adebisi and Callum McIntyre.

There are two other couples, of course. The young love of station buffet staff Beryl and Stanley, lovely turns from Hannah Khogali and Oliver Aston, and love in mature years from Kate Milner-Evans’ Myrtle and Charles Angiama’s Albert. These four play six other roles, with Max Gallagher shining too in his three roles. The nine songs, mostly by Coward, are performed by the cast, who between them play eight instruments, in the Watermill’s usual actor-musician house style.

Kirby, and his design team led by Harry Pizzey, have done a fine job in making the show their own, as much of a delight as on its previous two outings.

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