This Modern Classics edition celebrates the play’s fortieth anniversary, with a foreword by Antonia Fraser and an introduction by Michael Billington.
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Harold Pinter’s Betrayal received its premiere at the National Theatre, London, in November 1978. After an initially guarded response from the critics, the work was rapidly reevaluated and won the Olivier Award for Best New Play the following year. Set in London and Venice the play has an innovative chronology that opens at the end of an affair and works its way backwards over nine years, from 1977 to 1968. It is widely considered one of the playwright’s pivotal works.
Pinter has found a way of making memory active and dramatic . . . a master craftsman honouring his talent by setting it new, difficult tasks.
There is hardly a line into which desire, pain, alarm, sorrow, rage or some blend of feelings has not been compressed, like volatile gas in a cylinder less stable than it looks . . . The play’s subject is not sex, not even adultery, but the politics of betrayal and the damage it inflicts on all involved.
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