It’s surprising that there aren’t cautionary signs hanging around Broadway’s Bernard Jacobs Theatre. For inside, there is a production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal that is equally exhilarating and heart-stopping.
Director Jamie Lloyd has brought his sold-out London revival to New York and it contains some of the best acting I’ve seen in recent memory.
At first blush, this semi-autobiographical 1978 work is a bit sleight. Emma (Zawe Ashton) and Robert (Tom Hiddleston) are married. Jerry (Charlie Cox), Robert’s best friend, has been sleeping with Emma for five years. And that succinctly summarizes the entire 90 minutes.
Yet Lloyd and his pitch-perfect cast have been able to glean the most from this work that accurately portrays the disintegration of a relationship. It’s not so much about the infidelity as it is about the other lies which have compounded. Essentially, each one destroys his/her own integrity.
Soutra Gilmour‘s sparse but effective set design, including a slowly revolving turntable, helps to strip down the text to its essence. it’s hard to take your eyes away from the stage for each performance here is laser-focused and this cast is always in sync with one another.
They are also incredibly sexy. It’s hard to recall a cast that has more smoldering, sexual energy than this one. Even Eddie Arnold, who serves as the male understudy and the waiter is a tall glass of water. Gio Ponti’s chairs have also been heralded for their sleek elegance.
Lloyd’s Betrayal is the type of theater die-hard aficionados live for.
Betrayal runs through December 8th at the Bernard Jacobs Theater on Broadway (242 West 45th Street) NYC. For tickets and information, visit: https://betrayalonbroadway.com/