Harold Pinter’s absorbing one-act play “Betrayal” is given a fine interpretation at Kevin Broccoli’s Epic Theatre. The three-character play, not counting Broccoli’s brief appearance as a waiter, is being performed in the small space at the Hope Artiste Village, 999 Main St., Pawtucket.
Director Tray Gearing has turned the space into seven venues, covering nine short scenes that play backwards from present day to an incident that happened nine years ago. Don’t let that confuse you. Pinter’s brilliant and concise writing and Gearing’s directing make the play, which lasts just over an hour, work smoothly.
“Betrayal” is a play that should be on everybody’s “must see” list. It is often performed with another one-act play, and it is currently being revived on Broadway.
“Betrayal” is just what the title says. Robert’s best friend, Jerry, betrays him by having an affair with his wife, Emma. We see how it all ends in the first scene, and then travel backward to how it all began. The dialogue is crisp, the acting very good and the scene changes smooth. (You can follow them in your program.) A simple change of a tablecloth, movement of furniture or clothing change makes it easy to follow.
Guilt, suspicion, lust, anger, rage and even disinterest are all emotions that spill over as all three characters deal with betrayal. Chris Conte as Robert, Melanie Stone as his wife and Mark Gentsch as his friend and his wife’s lover all come together in a moving ensemble piece that will make the hour fly by.
“Betrayal” has a short run through May 4 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, $12 for students.