Brief Encounter Show Poster

Brief Encounter Critics’ Reviews

Based on the beloved film, Brief Encounter chronicles the romantic journey of an unhappily married woman and the handsome doctor who falls for her when the pair meet unexpectedly in a train station coffee shop. The production uses live music, song, dance, Technicolor film tricks and inventive staging to bring the film to life.

Show Overview

About Brief Encounter

What Is the Story of Brief Encounter?
Brief Encounter is a sweeping love story, aptly described in its opening film credits as “approved for public exhibition to the incurably romantic.” Alec and Laura meet in a train station and fall madly in love with one another, albeit in a restrained, British stiff-upper-lip sort of way. They are both married, so although they are swept away by their love for one another, the rules of polite society at the time (1930s Britain) make their passion a forbidden one. This black and white melodrama is neatly folded into the show’s more colorful love stories: a romance between the mistress of the train station tearoom and a station master and the puppy love of the tearoom assistant and her highwaters-wearing boyfriend.


Critics’ Reviews (5)
A collection of our favorite reviews from professional news sources.

"Using the tools of music hall, classic British pantomime and story-theater — plus a bit of trompe l’oeil technology, via film projections — this production lets its audiences see a familiar movie with virgin eyes and, yes, fall in love with it all over again."

The New York Times

Ben Brantley

"Brief Encounter is a giddily spinning zoetrope of interlocking illusions, an uninhibited fetish of Inhibition itself. More to the point, it’s about the thrill of watching someone else’s moral torment safely embalmed in celluloid — and doing so in a darkened theater, alongside row upon row of anonymous fellow voyeurs."

New York Magazine

Scott Brown

"This has to be one of the most inventive, genre-breaking shows since The Drowsy Chaperone. But all the smirk, all the exhilarating multimedia effects, cannot gussy up what is at its heart: a small, wistful play."

Associated Press

Mark Kennedy

"Work as imaginative and wholly successful as Brief Encounter doesn't come along every day. Indeed, for me it was an exhilarating reminder of why I fell in love with the theater in the first place."


Erik Haagensen

"The brilliant production of Brief Encounter that opened on Broadway last night should make all but the sourest puss believe in romance again. It's a spirited charm offensive that's just impossible to resist."

The New York Post

Elisabeth Vincentelli

Back to Top