re: "Betrayal" last night
Posted by: beyondhope 08:50 am EDT 08/21/19
In reply to: "Betrayal" last night - Marlo*Manners 10:47 am EDT 08/20/19

I saw the first performance last Wednesday. I saw the Daniel Craig version a few years ago, and was incredibly bored but this production drew me in right away. Perhaps because I appreciate Pinter's economy with words, the spare dialogue appeals to me. I thought the entire cast was, perhaps, a little too youthful for what is a middle age regrets/remembrances story. But I don't expect them to get "younger" as the narrative moves backwards. I see this as a retrospective from the end looking back: the older characters remembering what happened to them but unable to become those younger selves.

I thought Ashton was the weakest, lacking the self-protective guile and flashes of anger. I thought Cox was brilliant: Jerry is central to most of the scenes, and is the one most manipulated by the tensions in the marriage between Emma and Robert. But I found Hiddleston heartbreaking. Craig played Robert very cold, manipulative, edgy. Hiddleston showed you how much of his toughness was an act, and there is one moment in the entire play that I will never forget. No spoilers but it said more about Robert in one wordless image than I ever could have imagined. Robert is, after all, the victim who plays along, trying not to lose the two people he loves just because they love each other more.

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