Theatre Review: Betrayal at the Comedy Theatre

Silver screen star Kristin Scott Thomas lights up the stage in quality production of Pinter’s BETRAYAL at the Comedy Theatre.

Betrayal is a tale in reverse beginning with the end of the affair, when the not so guilty parties Emma, married to Robert, and Jerry, Robert’s best friend, meet again after two years apart and almost a decade since their first drunken kiss.

The twist is that Robert, played with sardonic relish by Ben Miles, is no cuckold, and infidelity is multifaceted as friendship is put to the test. Much of the truth is hidden from an ironically guileless Jerry, (Douglas Henshall), whose wife the unseen Judith, a nurse, keeps conveniently late hours.

One of Harold Pinter’s most down to earth plays - plenty of the lovers’ discussions centre round the love nest (a nondescript flat) - Betrayal shines the spotlight on middle class angst yet at times the atmosphere is as light as the endless glasses of white wine Emma consumes whilst no doubt plotting her next foray into smart casual wear.

Ian Rickson’s quality production does justice to the astute script and Jeremy Herbert’s retro sets are delightful.

The cast of three put in superbly realised performances but the show is worth seeing for Kristin Scott Thomas alone whose tough-edged vulnerability lights up the stage.

* Showing at the Comedy Theatre in Panton Street, SW1, until Saturday, August 20.