And if that weren’t enough crossing over of stage and screen, and vice versa, don’t forget that Noel Coward’s screenplay for the film was based on his own one-act 1935 stage play Still Life. What’s more, Lean’s film premiered a at this same address which, before becoming a cinema, first opened in 1926 as the Carlton Theatre for theatrical use.
In more recent years, it’s been one of the 73 cinemas owned by the Cineworld chain, which has not only helped steer its conversion, and re-commissioning, back into a theatre, but also come on board as co-producers of Brief Encounter along with West End impresarios David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers, whose other credits include last year’s Equus with Daniel Radcliffe and the upcoming premiere of Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage starring Ralph Fiennes and Tamsin Greig.
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Greig was amongst the stars on hand for yesterday’s two-performance occasion of the medium-shifting production, adapted and directed by Kneehigh artistic director Emma Rice and starring Naomi Fredericks and Tristan Sturrock as Laura and Alec, the infidelity tempted couple immortalised on screen by Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard.
For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the arrivals and curtain call of Brief Encounter at The Cinema, as well as the inter-show reception at the Haymarket Hotel. Other guests during the day included: Miranda Richardson, Michael Palin, Paul Gambaccini, Laura Wade, Samuel West, Michael Medwin, Victoria Wood, Celia Imrie, Rachel Pickup, Tamsin Grieg, Sharon Maughan, Konnie Huq, David Walliams, Gawn Grainger, Zoe Wanamaker and Ian McKellen.
- by Terri Paddock