Noel Coward originally wrote the story as a stage play in the 1930 but and World War II came around and it never got to live up to its full potential, but his famous love story re ignited and in the 1940s was given a new life on film and also a new name, Brief Encounter.
Brief Encounter begins with the two lead actors; Laura and Alec walk into the theatre with a band as they play music while walking up through the theatre to the stage. It is quite confusing at first but also engaging as your attention is grabbed straight away. The leading couple get up close to the audience and this is carried on throughout the show as the actors engage with the audience quite a few times.
The lights dim and the show begins as a film on a large projector, Laura shows up on the screen which takes her from the stage to a quite boring and bland looking home life. The curtain reveals an great set which the cast alternate depending on which kind of scene is taking place - turning from a railway station café into Laura’s home, a restaurant, a boating lake, the platform and then back again.
The film clips and projector images in between scenes that were added were a good feature of the play that drew every body’s attention by providing something different and refreshing for all viewers and breaking the play up. It also helped in conveying the mood and style of the particular part of the play.
The story is based around lovers, Laura and Alec with added comedy and music parts as well. Alec and Laura are both married with families, but their ‘’chance encounter’’ in a railway station cafe leads to weekly meetings, with their passion for each other growing which can only end in impossible love. Laura and Alec are both very refined characters and possess great English language and grammar as they are seen to be ‘’upper class’’ compared to other characters.
A large chunk of the play also takes place in an almost shambolic railway station; the very talented actors made fast changes of location and time of day using theatrical devices and scene changes. The intense and very serious intimacy of Laura and Alec's roles are balanced by imaginative songs and physical scenes, also comical relief that brings many reactions from the watching audience.
The couple's hopeless love for each other is by far the core of the film but in this stage version, it is also accompanied by an also large focus on two comical couples from the railway cafe. With her hilarious British dialogue and slang, Myrtle, the firm and feisty cafe manager in the railway cafe is courted by Albert, who is a frisky and flirtatious character who won’t take no for an answer until he can finally have his way with Myrtle. Stanley pursues Beryl, who is Myrtles eccentric and hyperactive cafe assistant.
The main plot and core of the play begins with Laura going to a nearby town every Thursday for shopping. One day after Returning from one of these trips, while waiting in the railway station she is helped by another passenger to remove a piece of grit from her eye. The passenger happens to be Alec who is a doctor, both Laura and Alec are in their later thirties, and both are married with two children. After enjoying each other's company, they both arrange to meet each other again. Their innocent and casual relationship quickly develops into love.
For a while they meet cautiously because they fear chance meetings with friends. After a few meetings, they go to a room inside Alec’s doctor’s surgery