PRESS RELEASE: BETRAYAL by Harold Pinter
2Sugars Productions presents Betrayal. The critically-acclaimed play written by Nobel prize laureate Harold Pinter was a smash hit in 1979 and won an Olivier award. Fast forward to 2019, when the play enjoyed a triumphant revival both in the West End and on Broadway, receiving multiple international awards in 2020 and 2021.This is only the third time since the 1980s that the rights have been granted by the Pinter estate, exclusively for Cape Town for a limited run only.
Pinter’s use of reverse chronology was particularly innovative at the time. The play integrates different permutations of betrayal relating to a seven-year affair involving a married couple, with wife Emma played by Marlisa Doubell (Blueberry Toast, Thirst, The Vagina Monologues, Hello & Goodbye), her husband Robert played by Matt Newman (Gruesome Playground Injuries, Sweet Phoebe, Cock, The Treatment) and Robert’s “close friend” Jerry played by Pierre Malherbe (Apple Face, Shakespeare in Love, The Kingmakers, Champ). For five years, Jerry and Emma carry on their affair without Robert’s knowledge, until Emma, without telling Jerry she has done so, admits her infidelity to her husband, Robert. The play features Pinter’s characteristically economical dialogue, the characters’ hidden emotions, veiled motivations, their self-absorbed competitive one-upmanship, face-saving, dishonesty and (self-)deceptions.
Directing this 1970s classic is award-winning director Professor Chris Weare, who received a Fleur du Cap Lifetime Achievement award in 2012 for his work in the South African performing arts industry. Chris has worked with the recently rebranded 2Sugars Productions in the past, directing Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago in 2013 and Fugard’s Hello & Goodbye in 2014. Highly regarded expert Patrick Curtis is head of set design. Following their 2019 production of Blueberry Toast at the Artscape Arena, which poked at the idea of a “perfect marriage”, this production points to a similar observation into the emotional complexities of marriage, relationships, love and betrayal.
Title: Betrayal by Harold Pinter
Director: Chris Weare
Set Design: Patrick Curtis
Cast: Marlisa Doubell, Pierre Malherbe, Matt Newman
Venue: Artscape Arena, Cape Town
Tickets: R200 at Computicket (Early Bird Special R150) Preview: R100
Dates: 21-29 October 2022
Time: 6pm & 2pm
Opening Night: 21st October 2022, 6pm
Preview Night: 20th October 2022, 6pm (Half Price)
Matinees: Saturday 22nd & 29th October 2022, 2pm
Running time: 90 mins
Wheelchair access available. PG12.
Please Note: No latecomers will be allowed entrance.
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The role of Emma will be played by Marlisa Doubell, who returns to the Artscape Arena after her last appearance there as Barb, the lead in Blueberry Toast by Mary Laws (2019). Theatre credits include activist Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, Eugene O’Neil’s Thirst (2017 adaption by Doubell), and Athol Fugard’s Hello & Goodbye. Film/TV credits include Blood & Water (Netflix), Fried Barry (Indie Film), and American Monster (Amazon).
Pierre Malherbe will play Jerry. Theatre credits include Apple Face (2019), his own production, which he wrote and played in, the Fugard Theatre production of Shakespeare in Love by Lee Hall, and several appearances in Louis Viljoen plays, such as The Kingmakers, The Eulogists, and CHAMP. Film/TV credits include Black Sails (Starz), Madiba (Out of Africa), and Troy: Fall Of A City (BBC)
Matt Newman will play Robert. Local theatre credits include lead roles in Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries (2019), Mike Bartlett’s COCK, Michael Gow’s Sweet Phoebe, and Martin Crimp’s The Treatment. Matt was part of the ensemble cast in (extra)ordinary (un)usual at 2021 National Arts Fringe Festival, which was the recipient of a Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award. Film/TV credits include Resident Evil (Netflix), Outlander (Starz), and The Crown (Netflix).
The independent theatre company (formally known as The Sugar-daddy Theatre Co.) was founded in 2010 by Marlisa Doubell and fellow founding members Leon Clingman, Gavin Werner, and Lizanne Peters. Over the past decade, the collective has worked with numerous members and creative collaborators and, in 2013, received the People’s Choice Fleur du Cap award. Post pandemic, owners Marlisa Doubell and Lizanne Peters restructured and rebranded their company to 2Sugars Productions. Past productions include David Hare’s The Blue Room, Israel Horrovitz’s Line, David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Athol Fugard’s Hello & Good-bye, Eugene O’Neil’s Thirst, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer, Mary Law’s Blueberry Toast, and plays by Doubell, including Relationshit! and Lady Luck.
Following his training and great body of work at Rhodes University, Chris went on to lecture at the UCT Drama Department, where he became Associate Professor and director of the Little Theatre. He founded the Intimate Theatre and was a key founder member of The Mechanicals Collective. In 2014, Chris accepted a post at AFDA and established the AFDA Theatre. Chris currently heads the drama department at LAMTA at Theatre on the Bay. Fleur du Cap awards include Best Supporting Actor in 1988, Best Director in 1990 & 1996, and the Lifetime Achievement award in 2012. Recent director credits include The Lying King, Gertrude Stein and a Companion, The Month of All Eating, and Live and Let Laugh.
Harold Pinter was born in London in 1930. He lived with Antonia Fraser from 1975 until his death on Christmas Eve 2008. He wrote 29 plays, including The Birthday Party, The Caretaker, and The Homecoming, Betrayal, and 21 screenplays including The Servant, The Go-Between, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, and Sleuth. He directed 27 theatre productions, including James Joyce’s Exiles, David Mamet’s Oleanna, seven plays by Simon Gray, and many of his own plays, including his last, Celebration, paired with his first, The Room, at The Almeida Theatre, London, in the spring of 2000. In 2005, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Other awards include the Companion of Honour for services to Literature, the Legion D’Honneur, the Laurence Olivier Award, and the Moliere D’Honneur for lifetime achievement. In 1999, he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature. He received honorary degrees from seventeen universities. www.haroldpinter.org