Wilbury's ‘Betrayal’ a big winner

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By DON FOWLER

Harold Pinter wrote his best play in the ’70s, and it has been performed by both amateur and professional theatre companies every year since.

“Betrayal” is a tightly written, one-act play about an affair between a married man and woman that is told in reverse chronology. Amazingly, it doesn’t come off as gimmicky, but it does offer an unusual perspective of how relationships develop and how the parties involved are affected.

Director Aubrey Snowden has ingeniously taken the play and its three central characters and put them in a small space on the stage at Wilbury, with a dozen seats on each side, creating an intimacy so crucial to the enjoyment of the production.

Pinter’s language is so precise that you hang on every word, because every word has meaning. More important are the characters’ reactions to what is being said, and this is where the acting is so important. We see every bit of body language and facial expressions up close, to the point of making us voyeurs to the intimate interactions.

Much has been written about Pinter’s own affair as it relates to the story, which unfolds with deep emotion and a few surprises along the nine-year period of the affair. To tell you more about the play would be to spoil the surprises, but if you have seen the play I guarantee that you will make new discoveries in this production.

Tanya Anderson as Emma, Tom Chace as Robert and David Tessier as Jerry have gotten inside the heads and hearts of their characters, making you feel their betrayals to themselves and to each other.

This is by far the best work I have seen at Wilbury. It has a short run through Feb. 12 at 393 Broad St. in the former home of Trinity Rep, where I first saw the play. If you like great theatre, don’t miss this one. Call 400-7100 for reservations or email info@thewilburygroup.org

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