Past Production - 21.1

by Noel Coward and Terence Rattigan November 1953

One act plays

Still Life

 In a suburban rail station, Dr. Harvey removes a cinder from Laura's eye and they fall in love. Subsequent weekly meetings over tea, scenes debating respectability or love, and some sentimental moments transpire before they decide they must part forever. He is accepting a faraway post and she must return to a circumspect life. At their last meeting, a chattering friend swoops down and there is no chance for a final goodbye.

Still Life was first produced as one of a series of nine one-act plays under the title Tonight At 8:30 at the Phoenix Theatre in January 1936 under the direction of Noel Coward. A success in London and New York. The movie Brief Encounter was based on this play

The Browning Version

Ill-health is forcing Andrew Cocker-Harris to retire from school-teaching. His wife despises him for being a failure and has been finding consolation with a master, Frank Hunter. As Andrew prepares to leave she openly taunts him.  Frank, witnessing this, is disgusted and bitterly ashamed.As the full story of the marriage is revealed, he warms to Andrew. Millie knows she has lost Frank, but even more bitter is the realization that he is now Andrew's fast friend.