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The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield. Home of the DGP
18 Kenwood Park Road, S7 1NF Sheffield
Jerry and Emma have taken part in an extramarital affair that has broken down. To add to the difficulties, Jerry’s closest friend is Emma’s husband, Robert. Jerry, Robert and Emma all engage themselves in acts of betrayal throughout, not only to their spouses, but to their lovers, and ultimately, themselves.
Famously told in reverse order, the play starts with the breakdown of Jerry and Emma’s affair, and starts with its initiation. In this way, Betrayal prevents a concentration of cause and effect, and the associated moral judgments, but instead, Pinter focuses on what is happening now, drawing us to the present moment.
Focussing on the lies, evasions, panic, deception, sentimentality and regret of a seven-year affair, Pinter’s Betrayal makes us listen to the tenderness and compassion that are paramount in hostile scenarios.