Pinter’s Betrayal at Maltings, St Albans

16:02 23 May 2014




Harold Pinter’s masterpiece Betrayal, which shines light on marital infidelity and self-delusion, is being performed at the Maltings Arts Theatre next week.

Widely considered a masterpiece of British contemporary drama, the play uses reverse chronology to trace the end of an extra-marital affair and a breakdown of two relationships back to their origins at a drunken dinner party seven years earlier.

It is a sparse and intimate portrayal of passion and adultery but also of self-denial and subsequent heartache, and was inspired by Pinter’s own clandestine affair with the BBC presenter Joan Bakewell from 1962 to 1969.

Betrayal has been a steep learning curve for StageSpell which is putting on the play from next Wednesday to Saturday, May 28-31.

Director, Liisa Smith said: “Pinter’s script is so tight and economical that teasing out its intricate layers has been a real challenge.

“There is nothing superfluous and so much hidden between the lines that we have spent hours debating the exact mood or nature of each scene, and filling out the characters’ back stories as we go along.

“It reminds me of a photo album where images frozen in time can tell a thousand stories and it is only by by looking at them in succession that we can work out the rough outline of a story or a relationship.”

Performances begin at 8pm and tickets are £12, available online at, by phone on 0844 8700 887 or in person from St Albans Tourist and Information Centre.


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