1977. A pub. London. A news ticker of sorts displayed across the set of Betrayal was the beginning of this Harold Pinter play that can be, brilliant, frustrating, painful and annoying. Usually all at the same time.
In the directorial hands of Geordie Brookman and a fine cast from the State Theatre of South Australia, he uses the nine scenes taken from a decade in the lives of three people as we go backwards to 1968 and forwards but not chronologically, with a time travelling feeling as the circular intergalactic lighting grid and a rotating clothes rack circuits the stage, all with great effect.
And with Pinter the master of the pause, its best to hold your breath and think of something else, as you wait for some emotional display or screaming match. But no it’s so uptight and disciplined you can’t help but feel this seventies trio missed the memo about the swinging decade while thinking that no one knew what the others were up to. Betrayal is all about just that.
At the after party it was all about family catch ups with Rob Thorman catching up with his cousin, the Chief Executive of the State Theatre Company of South Australia, Rob Brookman, who is the father of the director Geordie Brookman. And along for this gathering too was Thorman’s mum and dad Alice and Ray Thorman. Got that?
The Brookman connection where son works for dad worked brilliantly for this production and despite an overwhelming dose of the flu, Brookman junior made it to the opening with a brief but hearfelt speech to his cast and crew for making it all come together.
As for the circular clothes rack, a mini version would be every woman’s dream.