I love good plays. I love good movies. So I was glad we found a chance to see Brief Encounter on Broadway. I had never seen the classic film version, but that didn’t interfere with my enjoying this unique stage incarnation. In fact, now I can’t wait to see the film! Britain’s Kneehigh Theatre has done a wonderful job of having their cake, and eating it too. This version is part homage, part deconstruction, part send-up, part music hall entertainment, and yet somehow it all comes together by taking the story with utter sincerity. Stars Tristan Sturrock and Hannah Yelland are superb, balancing occasional flights of theatrical fancy with complete commitment to the intensity of the bond between the two almost-lovers. They are genuinely moving. And the whole company supports them admirably, managing to move from vaudeville to very real danger without missing a beat. The production is filled with visually imaginative flourishes, and while I have seen such elements misused in other shows, here the trickery is intricately woven into the storytelling and never feels anything other than fresh and right. Hats off to everyone at Kneehigh involved in bringing this work to the stage. And a special salute to Adaptor/Director Emma Rice for envisioning this uniquely bewitching and genuinely charming production. It’s playing only through January 2nd, so this week is your last chance to catch it. Navigate your way around the snowbanks and head over to Studio 54 for tickets. I would call it a genuine don’t miss!
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