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Roundabout presents Brief Encounter on Broadway


in association with David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Cineworld


Kneehigh Theatre’s

Critically Acclaimed Production of

Noël Coward’s


Adapted and Directed by Emma Rice

“By the show’s end I felt enlivened, enlightened and seriously moved,” – Ben Brantley, NY Times.

For a Q&A with Artistic Director Todd Haimes about the production, CLICK HERE

Previews begin September 10th, 2010; Official Opening September 28th, 2010

on Broadway at Studio 54

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) in association with 

David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Cineworld presents Kneehigh Theatre’s production of

Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter, adapted and directed by Emma Rice.

Brief Encounter will begin previews on Friday, September 10th, 2010 and open officially
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 at Studio 54 on Broadway (254 West 54th Street).  
This will be a limited engagement through December 5, 2010.
Brief Encounter is an imaginative new work that combines elements of Noël Coward’s beloved screenplay,

and the one act play on which it was based, with song, dance and Technicolor displays of emotion.

This breakout hit from London’s Kneehigh Theatre played a sold out run at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn,
NY and has also played critically acclaimed engagements at ACT and the Guthrie Theater.

The cast will be announced shortly.

The design team includes Neil Murray (Sets & Costumes), Malcolm Rippeth (Lights), Simon Baker (Sound)
and Gemma Carrington & Jon Driscoll (Projection).
Roundabout’s history with Noël Coward includes the production of Present Laughter (2010) with
Victor Garber and Design for Living (2001) with Alan Cumming, Jennifer Ehle and Dominic West.

Only Roundabout subscribers have first access to tickets! Visit http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/joinnow <http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/joinnow> for details.
Single Tickets for Brief Encounter will be available to the general public in the Summer of 2010.
Brief Encounter
will play Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:00PM with a
Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinee at 2:00PM.  

Noël Coward
(Playwright).  Noël Peirce Coward was born in Teddington, Middlesex, England to Arthur Coward (sometime piano salesman) and Violet (soon to become the archetypal ‘stage mother’.)  He made his professional stage debut as Prince Mussel in The Goldfish at the age of 12, which led to many child actor appearances in the next few years. He played the character of Slightly in Peter Pan – which later caused critic Kenneth Tynan to remark – “Forty years ago he was Slightly in Peter Pan and you might say that he has been wholly in Peter Pan ever since.” Several of his own early plays reached the London stage briefly but it was the controversial The Vortex (1924) that proved to be the breakthrough.  With its overt references to drugs and adultery, it made his name as both actor and playwright in the West End and on Broadway. Noël seemed to epitomize the spirit of the frenzied 1920s and a string of successful plays ensued – Hay Fever (1925), Fallen Angels (1925) and Easy Virtue (1926), as well as several intimate revues for which he wrote words and music. The momentum continued into the 1930s.  Private Lives (1930) saw him appearing with a childhood friend, Gertrude (“Gertie”) Lawrence and that partnership continued professionally with Tonight at 8.30 (1936).  Writer, actor, director, songwriter and writer of verse, essays and autobiographies, he was called by close friends ‘The Master’, a title of which he was secretly proud.  As World War II broke out he had two plays waiting to be produced – This Happy Breed and Present Laughter – but they would have to wait until 1943.  Meanwhile, there was Blithe Spirit (1941), a subversive comedy that ran longer than the war.  ‘Noël’s War’ was an active one… troop concerts at home and overseas… touring in plays… producing classic films such as; In Which We Serve and Brief Encounter… and acting as an unofficial spy for the Foreign Office!  The post-war years saw his star in temporary eclipse. Austerity Britain – the London critics determined – was out of tune with the brittle Coward wit. His plays enjoyed only modest success but Noël responded by ‘re-inventing’ himself as a cabaret and TV star, particularly in America, which had never undervalued his multiple talents. Indeed Noel had a love affair with America ever since his first visit to New York in 1921. Over the years most of his plays had successful Broadway productions and indeed some of them premiered there including Design For Living, starring the Lunts in 1933, Sail Away (1961) The Girl Who Came To Supper (1963) and High Spirits (1964).  He left the UK in the mid-1950’s and settled in Jamaica and Switzerland. In the early 1960s critical opinion in Britain turned yet again. He was now demonstrably “our greatest living playwright”. ‘Dad’s Renaissance’ – as Noël gleefully dubbed it – was under way and has never faltered since. He and his work are today more popular – and on a worldwide scale – than ever before.   In 1970 came the long overdue knighthood. In 1973 he died peacefully and was buried in his beloved Jamaica.
EMMA RICE (Adaptor, Director) is the artistic director of Kneehigh Theatre. She has directed for Kneehigh Pandora’s Box (coproduced with Northern Stage), Wild Bride (The Shamans, Budapest), The Red Shoes (2002 Theatrical Management Association [TMA] Theatre Award for Best Director), The Wooden Frock (2004 TMA Theatre Award nomination for Best Touring Production), The Bacchae (2005 TMA Theatre Award for Best Touring Production), Tristan & Yseult, Nights at the Circus (Lyric Hammersmith production in association with Kneehigh Theatre), Cymbeline (in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company for The Complete Works festival), A Matter of Life and Death (Royal National Theatre production in association with Kneehigh Theatre), Rapunzel (in association with Battersea Arts Centre), Brief Encounter (tour and West End; a David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers Production in association with Kneehigh Theatre), and Don John (in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bristol Old Vic). Rice was nominated for the 2009 Olivier Award for Best Director for Brief Encounter.

KNEEHIGH tell stories. They make world-class theatre. They are based in Cornwall, UK in breath-taking barns on the south coast. They create theatre of humanity on an epic and tiny scale and now find themselves celebrated as one of Britain’s most innovative theatre companies. For 30 years they have created vigorous, popular and challenging theatre for UK and International audiences alike. Using a multi-talented team of performers, directors, designers, sculptors, administrators, engineers, musicians and writers, Kneehigh perform with the joyful anarchy that audiences have come to expect from this groundbreaking theatre company.

Roundabout Theatre Company is a not-for-profit theatre dedicated to providing a nurturing artistic home for theatre artists at all stages of their careers where the widest possible audience can experience their work at affordable prices. Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the revival of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established playwrights and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate loyal audiences.

Roundabout Theatre Company currently produces at three permanent homes each of which is designed specifically to enhance the needs of the Roundabout’s mission.  Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics.  Roundabout’s Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions.  Together these three distinctive venues serve to enhance the work on each of its stages.

American Airlines is the official airline and Flatotel is the official Hotel of Roundabout Theatre Company.  Roundabout productions are made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Department of Education, the New York Department of State, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2009-2010 season includes Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sondheim on Sondheim starring Barbara Cook, Vanessa Williams and Tom Wopat; Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, directed by Gordon Edelstein; Sherie Rene Scott & Dick Scanlan’s Everyday Rapture, starring Sherie Rene Scott, directed by Michael Mayer.  Roundabout’s sold out production of The 39 Steps made its third transfer to the New World Stages after a successful Broadway run at three Broadway theatres.
Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2010-2011 season features George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession starring Cherry Jones, directed by Doug Hughes; Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter, adapted and directed by Emma Rice; Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still, directed by Sam Gold; Julia Cho’s The Language Archive, directed by Mark Brokaw; Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, starring and directed by Brian Bedford; Tennessee Williams’ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore starring Olympia Dukakis, directed by Michael Wilson.

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