Gripping and witty Pinter production

Betrayal @ Eye Theatre

Betrayal @ Eye Theatre

By JANET CHAMBERS

Although first performed more than 20 years ago, this Harold Pinter play easily translates to the present with a familiar scenario of marital infidelity.

The play opens with Emma meeting her former lover Jerry two years after their seven-year affair ended. They reminisce about the past, and Emma reveals her marriage to Robert is to end. Jerry, who appears to be jealous about rumours of a new man in Emma's life, is alarmed to discover that Robert knows their secret.

We are then taken back in stages through the years discovering how the affair progressed – at times the time-scale becomes somewhat confusing and questions remain unanswered. But the cast made the most of the witty dialogue and gripped the attention of the audience.

Peter Gallagher as the extrovert literary agent Jerry has a striking stage presence and gave a commanding performance. The contrasting role of the sensitive and emotional Emma was fittingly portrayed by Johanne Murdoch, and the interaction between the two was superb. Martin Ritchie as Robert is almost too relaxed in his desire to maintain his friendship with Jerry and squash matches but this could have been a cover for his true feelings.

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A delightful cameo performance from Peter Sowerbutts as the Italian waiter provides a comic touch.

Full marks to the stagehands who coped with nine changes efficiently and unobtrusively.

The production was directed by Tom Scott and ends on Saturday June 23.

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