Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Brief Encounter at the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis

During my weekend in Minneapolis, we saw a Kneehigh Theater production of Brief Encounter by Noël Coward at the Guthrie. It's a play based on a movie based on a one-act.

Photo courtesy of Kneehigh Theatre

The plot of the play is summed up in Ben Brantley's NY Times review:
Alec meets Laura at a train station, where he removes a cinder from her eye. They meet again — in a café, in a park, in a flat — and describe their unexciting daily lives, their respective spouses and, finally, their undeniable love for each other. After that, what is there to go but their separate ways, their virtue intact but their hearts irrevocably shattered?

The Kneehigh production uses some stills and clips from the film, to great effect. This was a thoroughly enjoyable show, with lots of tautness broken up with moments of comic relief. There were lots of cheeky, transparent theater moments: for example, during the rowing scene (pictured above), when each of the actors "falls" out of the boat, another cast member smirks at the audience while tossing water from a bowl into the air.

There was no intermission, a decision which one of the actors explained afterwards was to allow the tension in the plot to run uninterrupted.

Here's The Criterion Collection trailer for the film:

1 comment:

Whit said...

I really enjoyed this show and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys theater!