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Noël Coward’s hauntingly beautiful love story, Brief Encounter, returns to the West End after immense success across the world. Produced by one of the most admired and loved theatre companies in the world, Kneehigh Theatre, Brief Encounter promises one of the most touching and emotional performances ever on stage.

Why Watch Brief Encounter

Brief Encounter is a drama film directed by David Lean in 1945, with its screenplay written by Noël Coward. It went on to become a cult classic, with the British Film Institute voting it as the second greatest British film of all time in 1999. In 2017, Time Out magazine held a poll among 150 directors, actors, producers, critics, and writers, and Brief Encounter was ranked the twelfth greatest British film of all time.

Remembered as one of the most haunting love stories ever, the award winning production by Kneehigh has garnered acclaim across the world. It opened to dazzling reviews in Broadway, winning the hearts of critics and the audience alike. The performances of the lead actors, Jim Sturgeon and Isabel Pollen have met with praise, and their ability to take the audience along on Laura’s and Alec’s story is stirring. Brief Encounter isn’t just a play, it is a spectacular confluence of dialogue and song, and a nod to David Lean’s work of art.

The Story

During the Second World War, in 1945, Laura Jesson and Dr. Alec Harvey are two souls who are looking for something extra in their lives. Both are married, not to each other, and lead comfortable lives with their respective families. Laura goes to town every week, and passes her time shopping and catching a film at the cinema. On one of these trips, Laura chances upon Alec, in the refreshment room. She catches some grit in her eye, and Alec, ever the gentleman, assistance. They encounter each other a few more times, and quickly become more than just friends. Both their marriages, while being financially comfortable, miss the spark that they long for. Laura describes her husband as unemotional, and finds Alec to be a caring and kind man. Alec also instantly takes a liking to Laura, and they soon hit it off. Every week, they engage in some form of courtship, going to the movies, taking a romantic boat ride on the lake or dining at a restaurant. It becomes clear that they both long to take their affair forward. Laura, however, is very hesitant, and feels guilty for seeing another man while still being married. Will both Laura and Alec get what they truly desire? Watch to find out!

Good for

Lovers of Romance | Comedy lovers | Family audiences

Critics Reviews

“Emma Rice's bittersweet romance is a great night out.”
-The Guardian

“The production feels trimmer and tighter than in earlier incarnations, there are some superb comic turns from the supporting cast, and the whole thing manages to be unashamedly romantic, while also startlingly poignant in places.”
-The Stage

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Know Before You Go

Show Details

Show Timings

Monday to Saturday 7:30 PM
Wednesday and Saturday 3:00 PM

1 hour and 30 minutes

Leading Roles
Isabel Pollen as Laura Jesson
Jim Sturgeon as Dr. Alec Harvey
Beverly Rudd as Beryl
Lucy Thackeray as Myrtle

Directed by
Emma Rice

Music by
Seamas Carey and Pat Moran

Additional Information

Suitable for ages 16 and above. Children below 16 will not be permitted.

Available Facilities
Wheelchair accessible
In-house bar
Coat Check

The Empire Cinema Haymarket has a seating capacity of 544.

Outside Food
Strictly prohibited. If you'd like to grab a meal before or after the show, check out our guide to the 30 Best Restaurants in West End.

Dress Code
Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theater is air conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.

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Strict Cancellation Policy

All West End show tickets are non-refundable.

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My Tickets

You will get an email confirmation with your Brief Encounter voucher shortly. Please display the same on your mobile phone with a valid photo ID.

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