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I was slightly wary when I saw Brief Encounter was available, after all the film is iconic and surely the play would be very dated? But it is a real gem, Jenny Seagrove and Nigel Havers take on the mantles of Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard admirably and the rest of the cast are equally good . Although the story's morals are outmoded, they are charming and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire performance. Not for nothing was Nöel Coward called The Master.
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Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Only if they had not seen the film! Seagrove and Havers are well cast (although the wonderful Nicholas Farrell is wasted) but it lacks the impact of the film and - perhaps overcompensating for the medium - Seagrove does sound somewhat hystrionic at points, contrary to the repression of the characters' emotions which is the crux of the story. Missed the Rachmaninov score too - why use it only at the end?
Who was your favorite character and why?
Laura is the centre of the story, and the conceit of having her narrate events to her - not listening, complacent - husband is brilliant, conveying her real isolation.
What three words best describe Jenny Seagrove and Nigel Havers ’s performance?
Perfect voices for roles but Seagrove overdoes it at times.
If this book were a film would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
This is probably as good a radio adaptation as you could get - it's just that it's impossible to get close to the impact of the film.