In a busy railway station, where everyone is simply passing through, Laura and Alec find each other. Falling passionately and wildly in love in a few stolen moments they live and breathe a lifetime of epic emotions, reawakening everything they buried deep inside. Together they find themselves in a bittersweet, hopelessly romantic, elegantly awkward love affair.

This December, Royal Exchange Theatre presents Brief Encounter, a huge beating heart of a musical for incurable romantics. This unique and timely version of Emma Rice’s smash hit stage adaptation of Noël Coward’s iconic original, marks the 50th anniversary since the playwright’s death and showcases his remarkable talent as a writer, composer and songwriter.

Musical theatre performers Baker Mukasa, and Hannah Azuonye will star opposite each other as the hopeless lovers Alec and Laura, supported by a five-strong multi-rolling cast of characters.

This new production will be directed by the Royal Exchange Theatre’s former Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom and showcases for the first time a full complement of musical numbers drawn from Coward’s extraordinary songbook, accompanied by live Jazz on stage arranged by Musical Director Matthew Malone . The brand-new set design will be by 2019 Linbury Prize for Stage Design winner Rose Revitt.

Sarah Frankcom says of this show: “Remembering Noël Coward in this 50th anniversary year allows us to really foreground his mastery as a remarkable songwriter responsible for delivering and performing some of the most iconic songs of the last 100 years. I’m really looking forward to creating a production that allows these enduring characters to inhabit the world of the song and lets us understand the inside of their hearts.”

She adds: “This is an iconic story that takes place in a railway station, the most public of spaces, and as the audience watch the most extreme and intimate moments of a relationship played out in front of them, in a theatre, in the round, in a huge public space that is the Royal Exchange, there’s an exciting synergy that I can’t wait for audiences to experience.”

The production runs from 2 December until 13 January 2024.


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