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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Betrayal by Harold Pinter

Betrayal by Harold Pinter

by Pasadena Independent
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By Jennifer Schlueter

Inspired by playwright Harold Pinter’s extramarital affair with Joan Bakewell, Betrayal provides a dark, depressing insight into the lives of two unfaithful couples. For seven years, Emma and Jerry betrayed Emma’s husband (and Jerry’s close friend) Robert, who had also cheated on Emma with other women for years.

Emma and Jerry’s affair starts shortly after Emma and Robert’s wedding, when best man Jerry compliments his friend’s wife and confesses his interest in her—and she reciprocates the feelings. The two acquire a secret flat where they continue their relationship – Jerry, under the impression that Robert has always been completely unaware, pretends to be a good friend. Pinter makes us travel in time, opening the play with Emma and Jerry meeting two years after ending their affair. Emma tells Jerry that she and Robert are parting because he has betrayed her and that she now has another affair. The play then chronologically goes back, closing with the beginning of Emma and Jerry’s affair.

Perhaps because Brian Graves (Robert) and Elizabeth Kimball (Emma) are married in real life, Emma and Jerry’s (Greg Crooks) chemistry and passion for each other in the play lacks at times. Additionally, one can tell that all actors’ accents are rehearsed; they do not flow naturally. The music intermissions are a wonderful addition and the instruments well-chosen and soothing; however, the singer’s impression did not last (possibly also because she read from her electronic device during the play). The bright and colorful ‘70s wardrobe and Pinter’s captivating plot make up for most of these distractions, and make Aaron Craig’s California directing debut still a great experience, which you should only enjoy if you’re in positive state of mind rather than a failing relationship.

Betrayal runs through May 17, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 7 p.m. at the NOHO Arts Center on 11136 Magnolia Blvd in North Hollywood. General tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at http://www.betrayalnoho.com/#betrayal or www.plays411.com/betrayal. For additional information, please call (323) 960-7773.

Cast (Left to Right): Greg Crooks and Brian Graves - Courtesy Photo

Cast (Left to Right): Greg Crooks and Brian Graves – Courtesy Photo

Greg Crooks, Brian Graves, and Elizabeth Kimball - Courtesy Photo

Greg Crooks, Brian Graves, and Elizabeth Kimball – Courtesy Photo

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