Tonight at 8.30

Tonight at 8.30


So yesterday was a new experience. I’ve been to the theatre quite a lot since the start of the year,but to see only one play. Yesterday,me an Tim spent the whole day at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton watching Tonight at 8.30. Nine short plays by Noel Coward.

We went in not knowing what to expect but it turned out to be a great day.

Each of the plays were separated into three sections. Trio 1-Cocktails,Trio 2-Dancing and Trio 3-Dancing.

Made up of a small company of just nine plays,each of the actors worked incredibly hard remembering each of the parts and lines depending on the different characters they were playing.

The Nuffield theatre websites gives a better explanation of each of the plays below.

Trio 1-Cocktails


ImageThe Astonished Heart(photo taken from Nuffield Website)

ImageRed Peppers(photo taken from Nuffield website)

My favourite in the first trio were the plays We Were Dancing and ‘Red Peppers’,both completely different but both equally brilliant.

Trio 2-Dinner


ImageWays and Means (photo taken from Nuffield website)

ImageFumed Oak(photo taken from Nuffield website)

ImageStill Life also known as Brief Encounter. (Photo taken from Nuffield website)

After lunch at a local pub near the theatre we went in for the next trio,which included my favourite,and the only Noel Coward play I knew,Brief Encounter or Still Life as it was originally know.

The film holds a special place in my heart. It was the film I watched that helped and gave me the idea for the play I’m working on,the play that got me a high grade at college so I was a bit anxious about seeing on stage. It was portrayed perfectly however,including all the most important scenes of the film into the half hour slot. All the scenes took place in the station cafe and it worked perfect. It still remains my favourite.

Trio 3-Dancing


We had an hour and a half break before the final trio so we went back into the bar. The atmosphere had changed quite alot since we went there in the afternoon. The lights had been dimmed,tables were laid out for those who had reserved them for dinner and a jazz band were playing in the hall to the side of the room. Myself and Tim sat on a sofa and observed the atmosphere before trying on some of the coats and hats from the era. Ofcourse we couldn’t help but take some selfies.






When it came to 7.20 we got the call that the plays we’re going to start soon and that we should take our seats.

So for the last time that day we made our way into the theatre and was transformed back into a different era. The last three plays dealt with a death and the healing process in Family Album,what people really think of their friends in Hands Across the Sea and a flashback to falling in love for the first time with Shadow Play.

During our second break,we got speaking to a lady about the plays. She came to see the last set on opening night as she had a few of the actors staying with her. She explained to us about the last play and the way in which the actors looked at each other and the chemistry they shared. I paid particular attention to how mainly he looked at her and found that there was indeed a look of love in his eyes. Chemistry between actors is amazing!

Shadow Play was definitely my favourite amongst the final trio. Although the Family Album was great as all of the cast members were featured in it.

All in all it was a great day,a new and enjoyable experience. A huge thanks to Nuffield Theatre and the Company for putting on such an incredible production.

For more information on Tonight at 8.30 and other production at the Nuffield,visit

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