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Harold Pinter’s " Betrayal" is a clever play about infidelity that begins with the empty ashes of the affair and works backwards to its first excitement. The triangle is far from being right and even if you could sum of the squares of the legs, it wouldn’t equal the square of the hypotenuse.

"Betrayal" opens tonight in a production of the Bloomington Area Arts Council and director Amanda Renee Baker. Here’s a preview. Kaira Hogle plays the vulnerable wife Emma, a woman who always seems a bit reluctant about her infidelity. Brent Burcroff is Jerry, her often petulant urger in adultery. David Wald is Robert, the perpetually smug cuckold.

Jerry and Robert are actually best friends and this adds to the tension. At one point in the script, Robert tells his wife, Emma, that he likes his friend Jerry considerably more than he likes her. Robert even suggests that perhaps he should have been the one to have an affair with Jerry. Ironies and tension abounds in "Betrayal" as Pinter has scenes out of sequence where cause and effect are confused.

An important part of the production at the Waldron is music written for "The Betrayal" by composer Gregory Jacobs. In the dress rehearsal, cellist Robin Ryczek played eloquently both mood filled pieces that bridge the scenes and a subtly full accompaniment for the action of the final scene. Amanda Renee Baker’s direction seeks to keep the pace of the drama, but still give the actors time to express the effects that the telling of this story has.

Harold Pinter’s "Betrayal" is a complicated and very human, thought provoking work. It is complicated because love, infidelity, marriage and long held friendships are all shown to be far from permanent. It’s a cautionary tale that’s equally critical of the callow adventure of infidelity and the too complacent assumption of the settled peace of marriage.

Harold Pinter’s "Betrayal" in the Rose Firebay of the John Waldron Arts Center, directed by Amanda Renee Baker, opens tonight at eight. Following this evening’s performance there will be a discussion led by IU English Department Chair, Steve Watt. "Betrayal" continues with performances Saturday at eight Sunday at two. There are additional evening performances the 16th through the 18th.

You can see this preview along with reviews of theatre, film and opera on our web site at WFIU dot Indiana dot edu.

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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