Casting for Brief Encounter

Brief Encounter, adapted for stage by Emma Rice

from the play Still Life and movie screenplay Brief Encounter, both by Noël Coward.

Performance dates Wednesday 19th – Saturday 22nd October 2022
7.15pm Wednesday-Friday and 2pm & 7.15pm Saturday
Lawrence Batley Cellar Theatre

Rehearsals starting Sunday 4 September 2022 will usually be on:
Sundays 12 noon-5pm
Mondays, Wednesday and Thursdays, 7-9pm

Sundays 12 noon-5pm

Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 7-9pm

The play

A chance meeting between Laura and Alec in a train station tearoom leads to an impossible love affair. Engulfed by a sea of emotions, will they be swept ashore together, or will the tides of change pull them apart?

Noël Coward’s timeless tale of happiness and heartache is reimagined for the stage in a dazzling new production of this epic love story. With music to make your heart soar, this playful and inventive production will take you by the hand and whisk you on a journey through all of love’s beautiful complications.

The parts

Laura Jesson female 30+ (will be a similar age to Alec Harvey)

This can’t last. This misery can’t last… Nothing lasts really. Neither happiness or despair.’

Gentle, attractive, and mild mannered, Laura Jesson thinks she is happily married until she meets Doctor Harvey. She has two children and a husband, Fred, whom she feels guilty betraying. Middle class.

Alec Harvey male 30+ (will be a similar age to Laura Jesson)

If you’d die, you’d forget me. I want to be remembered.’

Good looking, kind and flirtatious Doctor Harvey feels an instant attraction to Laura after getting some grit out of her eye at Milford Railway Station. He is married with two children and a successful career. Middle class.

Usher #1 male/female any age

Also plays the parts of:

Fred Jesson

You’ve been a long way away… Thank you for coming back to me’

Fred Jesson, husband of Laura, is a dependable, unemotional, and reliable man. He is a creature of habit and routine. Middle class.

Albert Godby

‘…you look wonderful when you’re angry… just like an avenging angel’

Albert Godby is a jovial, fun-loving man who enjoys flirting with Mrs. Baggot in the refreshment room. Working class.

Stephen Lynn

I’m surprised at this farcical streak to your nature, Alex, – such carryings on…’

Stephen is a friend of Alec’s and a fellow doctor, and somewhat judgmental. Middle class.

Usher #2 male/female any age

Also plays the parts of:


Mother will be waiting up’

Beryl is a wonderfully naïve young woman who works for Mrs. Bagot in the tearoom. She fancies Stanley the cake seller and enjoys flirting with him. Working class


Can I take your order?’

An unimpressed waitress in the restaurant where Laura & Alec meet for the second time. Working class.


What horrid weather, isn’t it?’

Hermione is a cousin of Mary Norton – Laura’s friend. Middle class.

Dolly Messiter

My dear, I’ve been shopping ‘til I’m dropping’

Dolly Messiter, a fussy, talkative acquaintance of Laura’s. Middle class.

Usher #3 male/female any age

Also plays the parts of:

Myrtle Bagot

If you don’t learn to behave yourself – there won’t be a tonight’

Mrs. Bagot likes to appear to others as a strict, upstanding lady who commands respect from others. She is in fact just as fun loving as Albert with whom she enjoys regular liaisons! Working class.

Margaret Jesson

Mummy – Mummy! Is that you, Mummy?’

Margaret is Fred & Laura’s daughter. Middle class.

Usher #4 male/female any age

Also plays the parts of:


Are you walking home?’

Happy go lucky Stanley fancies Beryl and spends most of his time winking at her and playing the fool to make her laugh.


Come off it, mother, be a pal’

Johnnie is a soldier, seen in the waiting room of the station. Working class.

Usher #5 male/female any age

Also plays the parts of:

Bobbie Jesson

Mummy, why don’t you come and sit on my bed?’

Bobbie is Fred & Laura’s son. Middle class.


Come on, be a sport.’

Bill is a soldier, seen in the waiting room of the station. Working class.

In addition to the acting, there are nine songs in the production. In the script, various members of the cast sing them – usually one or more of the Ushers, with one song sung by Alec. However, with this production, whilst it is hoped that the actors can sing, the main emphasis is on the acting.

The audition process

First, register your interest in being considered for a part by emailing stating which part(s) you are interested in.

The deadline for registering is 6pm on Wednesday 6th July. However, the earlier you register your interest, the longer you will have for stage two. The key factor to consider, before putting yourself forward for a part, is your availability. If you will be away for more than a week during the rehearsal period, for the whole of the last week of rehearsals or any part of the show week, then you should not put yourself for a part.

Stage 2 is to record a self-tape of the pieces you will be sent after registering your interest. Details of what you need to do for, and with, the self-tape will be sent to you when you register your interest. The deadline for sending the self-tapes will be 6pm on Wednesday 20th July.

If you can’t do a self-tape, or would like help doing one, please let us know as soon as possible. Please remember that you can record yourself on your phone, and you can have as many takes as you like – just send us the best one!

Stage 3 will be the Casting Committee reviewing the self-tapes, and either offering parts based on what we see, or alternatively calling people in for either a conventional audition, or a workshop to decide on parts.

Stage 4 will be the offer of parts, ahead of the rehearsals.

If you would like to apply for a part in Brief Encounter, or would like to know more about the production, please contact

The production also needs backstage staff, so if you are willing to help in this area, please also let us know.

Thank you for supporting the Huddersfield Thespians, and good luck to you all!

Alistair Cheetham
Casting Committee
Huddersfield Thespians Limited