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  Betrayal at Raven Theatre


Raven Theatre
6157 N. Clark St Chicago

Pinter's modern classic drama concerns the nine-year affair between a London writer and the wife of his publisher and best friend. A thoughtful, rich play about a common theme of human existence - the difficulty in maintaining honest relationships with those close to us - Betrayal is known for its unique structure, it tells the story backwards in time, with the play beginning at the end of the affair and ending as the affair is about to begin.

Thru - Dec 17, 2016

Price: $21-$46

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-338-2177

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  Betrayal Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Lauren Shouse (a freelance director who also serves as literary manager of Northlight Theatre) brings just the right chilly, razor-sharp edginess to the production, and her actors capture the tension, fatigue and devastation that so much lying (whether to themselves or others) can generate."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Recommended

"...Shouse's cast has a solid grasp on Pinter's sublimated drama, with everything played excruciatingly close to the vest. Although there's little at stake beyond some terribly hurt feelings, fine performances make for a compelling, convincing 75 minutes."
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Justin Hayford

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Lauren Shouse's sharp, slick direction seduces audiences with a female sensuality, so different from the usual male-directed productions. She strips away the artifice and romance of what it means to engage in an affair, with a feminine perspective. Scene changes are performed with a simple, deliberate, almost choreographed precision, blending beautifully with the scripted moments. Lauren Nigri's clean, sparse alley-style set design works in tandem with Shouse's vision. The cast is impeccable. Abigail Boucher, a dead-ringer for a young Cate Blanchett, is responsible for turning Pinter's tale of deception into a woman's story. Keith Neagle, as Robert, and Sam Guinan-Nyhart, as Jerry (and as excellent as can be imagined), become Emma's pawns in this story of love and lies."
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David McCann

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...It's Neagle, however, who really sticks out. His Robert isn't so much a fully-realized character as he is a jacked-up woodpecker. He jealously hammers away at Jerry and Emma so unsubtly that it calls the plot itself into question: that Robert's obvious knowledge of the affair escapes Jerry is a tad unbelievable. (The play's brisk, 75-minute running time can also be largely attributed to the speed of Neagle's line delivery.) In a well-crafted production that lacks explosiveness, his performance is a bit of the reverse: the right amount of gunpowder, but too crude a bomb. "
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Alex Huntsberger

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Harold Pinter's play "Betrayal" begins at the end - beyond the end, actually. And from there, this gritty slant on the eternal triangle works its way backward through the embers, the blaze and the multifarious deceptions of an affair. The affair is a tangled, bruising mess; the telling of it, at Raven Theatre, is a thing of raw-boned beauty."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Splash Magazine - Highly Recommended

"...This fall, Raven Theatre presents Betrayal by Harold Pinter, directed by guest artist Lauren Shouse. The first major Chicago production of the popular Pinter play in almost ten years, this production filters the story of the logistical and emotional fallout of a nine-year extramarital affair through a female perspective, emphasizing the complex emotional journey of the play's only female character, Emma, and featuring a female director and mostly female design team. With powerful acting and simple but effective design work, Shouse's production brings Pinter's brilliant play to vivid, compelling life."
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Jessie Bond

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...What ultimately makes this work resonate is the strong acting. Betrayal is an 'actor's play' in that the nuances and hidden emotions must spark the potential chemistry between Emma and Jerry with Robert's arrogant acceptance of Emma's betrayal with acting out against her or Jerry (his best friend) plausible. Boucher, Guinan-Nyhart and Neagle exhibit the hidden emotions, the coldness and the lack of guilt marvelously. We buy their reactions, their lust and their 'civility' toward one another. This cast sure did yeoman work here."
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Tom Williams

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...When one attends a play written by Harold Pinter, one can expect a bit of romance, a tinge of mystery and a whole lot of alcohol. This is what Pinter does! The current production of Pinter's "Betrayal" directed by Lauren Shouse, on the very intimate stage in the smaller, West Stage at Raven is 75 minutes of romantic intrigue allowing us to be privy to a long term relationship, but unlike other productions, Shouse tells the story from the woman's angle. Emma ( the lovely and enchanting Abigail Boucher), a dutiful wife and mother of two, has been carrying on a long term affair with Jerry ( charmingly played by Sam Guinan-Nyhart), her husband's best friend. The husband, Robert (deftly handled by Keith Neagle) is a book publisher, and Jerry a literary agent. Jerry also is married (to a physician) and has two children. The affair ends as the play begins and is then told in amazingly quick flashbacks."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...Betrayal explores an affair from all angles: primal, emotional and intellectual. A Last Five Years of infidelity, Betrayal gives both woman and man the respect they deserve, but never lionizes their less-than-perfect decisions. Pinter's play shows how close we all are to the edge at any given moment, and Shouse's direction, along with a terrific cast, emphasizes that in the matters of love, everyone is somewhat at fault."

Lauren Whalen

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...Betrayal, a well-rounded production with fine performances from the three principals, is staged alley style in Raven's smaller West Stage. Lauren Nigri's set design is beautifully minimal and requires only a few pieces of furniture and props. The actors carry out the breaks between scenes with no fuss."
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Nancy Bishop

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   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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