Curtis Duncan and Susan Park play husband and wife in The Actors Group production of Harold Pinter's intriguing "Betrayal."
‘Betrayal’ explores marital infidelity in reverse order
'Tis the season, it seems, for counter-chronological theater. The ARTS at Marks Garage recently staged a revival of Troy Apostol's "Femme Capulet," a reworking of "Romeo and Juliet" that begins with Juliet's suicide. Now comes The Actors Group production of "Betrayal," a story of an adulterous relationship that playwright Harold Pinter likewise tells in reverse order.
Presented by The Actors Group
Place: Yellow Brick Studio, 625 Keawe St.
Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 4 p.m. Sundays, through April 16
Tickets: $15 ($13 seniors, $12 students)
Call: 550-8457 or online at honoluluboxoffice.com
We meet Emma and Jerry as they talk in a pub two years after their affair is over. We then follow them along a reverse timeline to the beginning of their relationship nine years before.
Susan Park (Emma) and Peter Ruocco (Jerry) are the ex-lovers in TAG director Liz Kane's production. Curtis Duncan provides the third side of the romantic triangle in the challenging role of Robert -- Emma's husband, and Jerry's best friend and business associate. Rick Crump co-stars as The Waiter.
Theater fans familiar with Pinter's work will recognize the premise as semi-autobiographical, although "Betrayal" was not inspired by the affair that ended his marriage ("Seinfeld" fanatics may recall an episode involving a character named Pinter that was also told in reverse order).
"Betrayal" invites the audience to explore the issues involved in marital infidelity, the betrayal of friendships and the ways in which people can sometimes betray their own best interests. Who hasn't looked back at episodes in their own life -- sometimes with regret, sometimes with bittersweet laughter?
With "Betrayal," the audience knows where the characters are, but not where they were. Their well-worn memories are uncharted territory.
Is Pinter one of the greatest modern playwrights? Is "Betrayal" one of his best works? 'Tis the season, Honolulu, to draw your own conclusions.