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a Drama
by Harold Pinter

COMPANY : Aurora Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Aurora Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 4365

SHOWING : October 04, 2012 - October 28, 2012



For seven years, Emma and Jerry engage in a passionate love affair -- along the way deceiving their spouses, each other and, at times, even themselves. That's the central tale of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter's "Betrayal." Inspired by the legendary and highly influential playwright's own life, "Betrayal" explores the complexities of love, guilt and duplicity in modern relationships. The 1979 Olivier Award winner for Best New Play, "Betrayal" unfurls in reverse chronology and is widely considered to be a dramatic masterpiece.

Director Freddie Ashley
Waiter Adam Fiddler
Emma Tess Malis Kincaid
Jerry Mark Kincaid
Robert Anthony Rodriguez
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by playgoer
Monday, October 8, 2012
"Betrayal" is one of Harold Pinter's acknowledged masterpieces. In Aurora's production, it's hard to see why. The generally backwards chronology (with a few "Later" seques) adds some interest, but the interrelationships among the cast members don't always hold interest. The concept seems promising, but the execution lets it down.

The best thing about this production is the contribution of Isabel & Moriah Curley-Clay. They designed the costumes, which reflect the late 60's and 70's, but not in an outrageous manner. The palette of the costumes tends toward mustard, with accents of turquoise and red. Mustardy yellow also colors the fabric of the fixed set pieces (an ottoman and dining set). At first, these fixed set pieces don't seem to go well with the set background, which has taupe and gray and black. As the play progresses, though, other furniture rolls in and out that blends better with the fixed set pieces.

The set, also designed by the Curley-Clays, is fascinating. It overlays window upon window, with three blank wall segments allowing access to change furniture. Four doors lead onto the set, and the entire construction is framed in white that covers the stage curtains, with a white triangle above. Sarah Thomson has painted upside-down reflections of all the doors and windows on the top half of the set. The multi-layered aspects of the set suggest the welter of locations in which the scenes take place. They also suggest a complexity of emotional underpinnings that the production doesn't really exhibit.

Fine performances are provided by Tess Malis Kincaid (Emma) and by Anthony Rodriguez, as her husband Robert. The performance of Mark Kincaid (Jerry) is problematic, however. In the backwards chronology, we see him go from ex-lover of Emma to lover to friend who makes a first pass at Emma. The chemistry between Jerry and Emma seems appropriate in the second half of their chronological relationship, but the beginnings of the relationship just don't work. Mr. Kincaid comes across as a grotesquely creepy and groping middle-aged drunk in the play's final (earliest) scene. It's hard to believe that any relationship would develop from that beginning. A surer directorial hand from Freddie Ashley could have corrected this and given us hints of a mutual attraction between Emma and Jerry. As it stands, it's an abrupt ending of a one-act play.

Pinter plays aren't given many productions these days, so it's nice that Aurora has chosen to plug one slot in its season with this modern classic. It's been given a stylish production, but one that definitely puts the "B" in "Betrayal." [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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