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Betrayal

Betrayal
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Harold Pinter
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 41
Pub. Date: 1980
ISBN-10: 0822201097
ISBN-13: 9780822201090
Cast Size: 1 woman, 2 men

About the Play:

Betrayal
was one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

Winner in New York of the Drama Critics Circle Award as best foreign play and in London of the West End Award as best play of the season.

Betrayal is a full-length comedic drama by Nobel Prize-winner Harold Pinter. This classic Harold Pinter drama tells the tale of love, loss, and heartbreak – in reverse. An extramarital affair between Emma and Jerry, who is the best friend of Emma's husband Robert, is examined in backwards chronology. A critical and popular success on both sides of the Atlantic, dramatic critics have considered this to be his most important work.

Betrayal is deals with the "eternal triangle" – wife, husband and his best friend with an unexpected twist! The play begins in the present, with the meeting of Emma and Jerry, whose adulterous affair of seven years ended two years earlier. Emma's marriage to Robert, Jerry's best friend, is now breaking up, and she needs someone to talk to. Their reminiscences reveal that Robert knew of their affair all along and, to Jerry's dismay, regarded it with total nonchalance. Thereafter, in a series of contiguous scenes, the play moves backward in time, from the end of the Emma-Jerry affair to its beginning, throwing into relief the little lies and oblique remarks that, in this time-reverse, reveal more than direct statements, or overt actions, ever could. The British playwright, with his famous dark humour and customary inventiveness and subtlety, brings new insights to this timeless theme.

Betrayal was first staged in 1978 at the National Theatre in London. It was revived in 1991 at the Almeida Theatre in London. Twenty years after its first showing, it returned to the National in 1998. This scene study staple is regularly performed in regional repertory, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 1 woman, 2 men.

What people say:

"…marvelous scenes, packed with suppressed tension, torn loyalties and confused, unspoken feelings…." — The New York Times

"Betrayal is an exquisite play, brilliantly simple in form and courageous in its search for a poetry that turns banality into melancholy beauty." — Newsweek

"…a powerful expression of the chasm between recollection and reality, of the gaps between people who need to be intimate with each other." — Village Voice

"Betrayal is an exquisite play, brilliantly simple in form and courageous in its search for a poetry that turns banality into a melancholy beauty. Behind its smooth pastel surface is a haunting vision of a man as a creature trapped in an orbit of betrayal that sends him circling around the ideal without ever reaching it." — Newsweek

About the Playwright:

Harold Pinter (1930-2008) was an English playwright, screenwriter, actor, theatre director, poet, and Nobel laureate. He wrote 29 plays including The Birthday Party, The Caretaker, The Homecoming, and Betrayal, 15 dramatic sketches, 21 screenplays, as well as books of poetry and fiction, and directed 27 theatre productions. He continued to act under his own name, on stage and screen. His genius was recognized within his lifetime as a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005 (the highest honour available to any writer in the world), the Companion of Honour for services to Literature, the Legion D'Honneur, the European Theatre Prize, the Laurence Olivier Award and the Moliere D'Honneur for lifetime achievement. In 1999 he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature, in addition to 18 other honorary degrees.

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