The Wallis and BAFTA Partner for BRIEF ENCOUNTER Talkback with Emma Rice, 2/27

The Wallis and BAFTA Partner for BRIEF ENCOUNTER Talkback with Emma Rice, 2/27

The Wallis Annenberg Theater for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) partner up to host a night for theater patrons and BAFTA members on Thursday, February 27 at 8 p.m. Following the performance of the UK's Kneehigh Theatre acclaimed production of Noël Coward's Brief Encounter at the Wallis Annenberg, a talkback featuring Emma Rice will be held.

Moderated by British celebrity journalist and author Sandro Monetti, the Q&A will feature Emma Rice, director of Brief Encounter and creative director of Kneehigh Theatre, after the 8 p.m. performance, with a private reception to follow.

The production switches seamlessly between theater and film using a combination of Noël Coward's original stage play Still Life and Coward's screenplay of the classic 1945 British film directed by David Lean. It takes the audience back to a bygone age of romance and the silver screen. Remembered as one of the most haunting love stories ever told, the action of Brief Encounter is centered on a suburban housewife who discovers passion and falls madly in love with a married stranger in a railway station tearoom over a series of stolen afternoons. The film was based on Coward's 1936 one-act play Still Life and memorably featured in the score Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Piano Concerto #2." In this new production, the ingenious international theater company Kneehigh cleverly uses film and music to provide a highly theatrical setting for this classic, timeless tale of illicit lovers. The production for The Wallis features original Broadway cast member Hannah Yelland along with Jim Sturgeon who played the role of Dr. Alec Harvey in the Australian tour of the Kneehigh Theatre production. Sturgeon, a Kneehigh company member, replaces the previously announced Tristan Sturrock.

Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times has acclaimed Brief Encounter saying, "...this much admired international production arrives at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills...working its charm to delightful effect." Don Grigware with Broadway World also applauds Brief Encounter stating, "Kudos to Emma Rice for her astounding vision as director, to Neil Murray for his wonderful set design, to Stu Barker for his original music, to puppet maker Lyndie Wright, to Sarah Wright for puppetry training and to Robin Kewell for underwater filming."

Tickets are available online at; by phone at 310-746-4000; and in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center Ticket Services, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

About The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts: Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) has transformed a Beverly Hills city block, facing Santa Monica Boulevard, between Crescent and Canon Drives, into a vibrant new cultural destination with two distinct, elegant buildings: the historic 1933 Italianate-style Beverly Hills Post Office (now the Paula Kent Meehan Historic Building) and the new, contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together these two structures embrace the city's history and future, creating a new cultural landmark. Within the treasured Post Office, existing spaces are re-imagined into the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, a theater school for young people, a café (both opening in 2014), and gift shop. The Wallis, the first performing arts center to be built in Beverly Hills, is now a home for artists from around the world and audiences of every age. The Wallis will produce and present outstanding theater, music, opera and dance, as well as exciting programming for the family audience. For more information, visit

About the British Academy of Film and Television Arts: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world's most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. For further information, visit

Photo Credit: Jim Cox

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