Lots of plays do cleverness by half, but to little meaningful effect. For his 1978 play “Betrayal,” Harold Pinter took cleverness all the way to demonstrate how stone-cold heartless those who carry on illicit affairs can be.
Starting where the affair ended, and ending where the affair first begins, Pinter’s play shows adultery in reverse between Jerry and Emma. But without, of course, any knowledge on the part of Emma’s husband Robert. Apart from giving the plot a predestined feel, many theater fans fall apart ravishing about how events portrayed in reverse show us not just how and why affairs begin, but how thorough the act of betrayal must be throughout all surrounding events and participants.
It’s also inspired, in part, by Pinter’s own seven-year affair with Joan Bakewell, a BBC television presenter. See this production by Pinnacle Acting Company, and you can draw your own chilling conclusions.
Harold Pinter’s ‘Betrayal’
When • May 3-12, 7:30 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees May 5, 6 and 12.
Where • Midvale Performing Arts Center, 695 W. Center St. (7720 South), Midvale
Tickets • $13-$15. Visit www.pinnacleactingcompany.org for more information.