Before Brief Encounter, there was Still Life. Audiences now have a chance to see Noel Coward’s one-act play, which spawned David Lean’s classic film, as part of Jermyn Street Theatre’s complete cycle of nine short plays, which have not been seen all together in London since their 1936 premiere. Watch our videos with the cast including Still Life’s new Laura – and then get booking!
Noel Coward wrote Still Life, part of his Tonight at 8.30 cycle, as a vehicle for himself and Gertrude Lawrence, with whom he’d previously starred onstage in Privates Lives. The play, as part of Tonight at 8.30, had its West End premiere in 1936 at the Phoenix Theatre.
In 1945, director David Lean immortalised the ill-fated romance onscreen in Brief Encounter, with Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard starring as would-be adulterers Laura and Alec. Brief Encounter has been voted one of the greatest British films of all time.
Bringing the story full circle, it has been re-adapted for the stage, including in Emma Rice’s multi-media adaptation for Kneehigh, which has recently reopened around the corner from Jermyn Street.
In addition to the much shorter length, one of the key differences in the stage original is that all of the scenes take place in the famous railway station. In Still Life, some aspects of the couple’s relationship are also more ambiguous, leaving the audience to decide.
At Jermyn Street, under the direction of artistic director Tom Littler, the nine one-acters of Tonight at 8.30 are performed by an ensemble of nine actors. In Still Life, Miranda Foster is Laura opposite Nick Waring as Alec.
Tonight at 8.30 runs from 10 April to 20 May 2018 at Jermyn Street Theatre, 16B Jermyn Street Theatre, London SW1 6ST. Performances – running in repertory with Tomorrow at Noon – are Wednesdays to Sundays at 7.30pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 11.30am and 3.30pm. Tickets are priced £30 (concessions £20), with weekend trilogy days priced £75 (concessions £50). CLICK HERE FOR FULL SCHEDULE & TO PURCHASE TICKETS!
— JermynStreetTheatre (@JSTheatre) March 27, 2018
Ian Hallard introduces We Were Dancing, another of the one-act offerings in Tonight at 8.30.
Here’s the one and only @IanHallard introducing ‘We Were Dancing’ and talking about the challenges of kissing @sarakcrowe
£15 preview tickets 10 April – 15 April! #JSTTonight https://t.co/VrivQi9q6U pic.twitter.com/y1JWUnC9YZ
— JermynStreetTheatre (@JSTheatre) March 29, 2018
Ben Wiggins discusses the comedy Hands Across the Sea.
Here's @benmwiggins introducing Hands Across the Sea, a fabulous @NoelCowardSir comedy, featured in #JSTTonight.
£15 previews available 10 / 12 / 14 / 15 April! https://t.co/VrivQi9q6U pic.twitter.com/00IsGGpjsC
— JermynStreetTheatre (@JSTheatre) March 30, 2018