Betrayal review " a piercing revival

Published Oct 25 2020 at 10:30 AM GMT
  • Theatre Royal, BathPinter's modern classic gains currency in pandemic BritainWhen Peter Hall directed Harold Pinter's 1978 Betrayal, charting adultery among London's literati, he noted that the playwright is 'talking about something else" If you start with self-betrayal, it gradually infects everything, like a dreadful, destructive virus".
  • Thus a dated modern classic gains unexpected currency in Jonathan Church's period-precise, occasionally piercing revival, which joyously opens the Theatre Royal, Bath after a near-deathly dramatic pause.
  • With a cast of four (currently living in a bubble, so merrily exchanging droplets), it is service as nearly-normal.
  • Famously unravelling anticlockwise, though staged by Church on a clockwise revolve, the play begins with Emma and Jerry, her husband's best friend, raking through the embers of their affair over a mug of beer and spools back to its initial spark when, following Jerry's drunken lunge, Nancy Carroll's cool yet slinky Emma extends her arm towards him.
  • Pinter ingeniously holds the audience (masked, socially distanced, safe) in the uneasy position of knowing more than his characters about who is betraying and deceiving whom.



  • Published Oct 25, 2020 10:30 AM GMT