6-10 October 2015
Reviewed by Kirsty Moorhouse
I set off enthusiastically to Bradford in the pouring rain to watch a piece of theatre, set in Bradford Interchange bus and train station. I had no idea what to expect but was excited by the blurb which said ‘Friends reunite, worlds collide, love blooms and pigeons fly in one of Bradford’s great unsung theatres’.
We met by the ticket office and were handed lanyards with a visitors pass ready for further instructions. The details were brief but precise. We were to follow our stewards, stand on the red lines when there were some for optimal viewing and stay together. We were also assured that there were security guards that were first aid trained, that we were to be careful of the wet floor (though they had mopped in between performances) and that we could have umbrellas if we wished.
With this we followed our stewards to the first location, a shelter on the train station platform, where one lady with a case stood inside. As with all good theatre the tension of what was going to happen next could be felt from my fellow audience members (about 10 in total) and we exchanged nervous grins wondering what was about to occur.
Then it began.
The acting was strong and felt really natural, as though we were spying on a real life conversation.
We followed them as they moved to a different part of the Interchange, stopping on the red line when instructed to watch the next interaction.
I don’t want to give too much away as one of the great things about this piece of theatre is the flow and unexpectedness. The way characters are intertwined and the skill of the writing that carries you into these people’s lives in your brief encounters is exceptional.
I have never seen so much of the Interchange, we went to areas I would not have expected to watch theatre in. We walked through crowds of general public swept along in our own little world created for us by Rav Sanghera. We had the privilege of listening in without guilt on those snippets of conversation you hear whilst waiting for your train, partner or killing time.
It was wonderful. It was imaginative and perfectly executed. It was like nothing I have seen before. It brought tears brimming to my eyes and made me laugh out loud.
I don’t know exactly what my expectations were when I set off to see Brief Encounters at Bradford Interchange but I think it’s fair to say they were well and truly blown out of the water.
I shall be looking out for more Freedom Studio productions that’s for sure!
Tickets cost £10
Brief Encounters is at the Bradford Interchange until10 October 2015. For more information or to book tickets visit www.freedomstudios.co.uk.
Bradford Interchange Bus Station, Bridge Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1GY