Betrayal - member and critics reviews.

This is the place to discuss all of Mr. Craig's work on stage.

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Alina
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Post by Alina » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:46 pm

CockHargreaves wrote:Ah, but Emma isn't married to Daniel, is she? She's married to a man who looks just like him but hits her and is unfaithful himself. Which isn't the same thing at all...
Oh really? You don't say :lol:
Sometimes you need to take my posts with a grain of salt. :wink:
I happen to realize that Daniel plays a fictional character called Robert in the play :) I somehow managed to figure that out :)

:tongue:
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Post by CockHargreaves » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:22 am

Alina wrote:
CockHargreaves wrote:Ah, but Emma isn't married to Daniel, is she? She's married to a man who looks just like him but hits her and is unfaithful himself. Which isn't the same thing at all...
Oh really? You don't say :lol:
Sometimes you need to take my posts with a grain of salt. :wink:
I happen to realize that Daniel plays a fictional character called Robert in the play :) I somehow managed to figure that out :)

:tongue:

Ooh, touchy! Did you get out of bed on the wrong side this morning? :kiss_ass: :neener: :lol:

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Alina
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Post by Alina » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:58 am

CockHargreaves wrote:
Ooh, touchy! Did you get out of bed on the wrong side this morning? :kiss_ass: :neener: :lol:
It was yesterday, actually :wink:
I'm not touchy, it was meant to be some light-hearted humour, but I realize that when you can only read a message without seeing or hearing the other person, it may sometimes seem different from what the author intended to say. Or maybe it's my English :lol:

:silence:

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Post by Sylvia's girl » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:22 pm

DANGER AND ALLURE

Here’s the extraordinary contradiction/paradox/surprise – call it what you will – about the peculiar revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, which has taken New York (in commercial terms, anyway) by storm. This is the first of the three Betrayals in New York theater history to feature even a single Briton in the cast, and it is also the first to be directed by an American – Mike Nichols, as opposed to David Leveaux and Peter Hall in previous go-rounds.

And the puzzling truth of the matter is that all the authenticity in the world in accent terms and the like can’t disguise the fundamental betrayal at this staging’s core: the way in which Pinter’s shimmering and subversive 1978 text has landed with a decidedly and disconcertingly tin ear.

Nichols’ production does have its virtues, chief among them a genuinely mesmeric performance from Daniel Craig, who is the best thing about the evening, as he was about A Steady Rain a few seasons ago. As Robert, the apparently amiable but quite possibly violent publisher whose wife, Emma, has been having an affair with his best friend, Jerry, Craig brings to the proceedings a singular mixture of the alluring and the dangerous. How much does Robert know at any one time about his wife’s dalliances, and to what extent does he let that knowledge slip? Craig lends a galvanically forensic intelligence to the part of a man who can make the mere mention of a game of squash sound like an indication of far darker forces at work. At one point, as Robert moves towards his wife, the audience is unsure whether he’s going to embrace her or do her harm.

Elsewhere, such necessary intrigue has been displaced by a rather pushy approach that tends to neutralize the potentially devastating role of Emma – played here by Craig’s real-life wife, Rachel Weisz, making a muted Broadway debut in the part in which a Tony-nominated Blythe Danner shone in 1980 – and reduces Jerry (arguably the hardest role of the three) to a quasi-buffoon. Rafe Spall in that part is a likable presence as ever, and his beard hides the fact that the actor in real life is way too young to be a contemporary of Craig’s (the two men are 15 years apart).

But all the overt canoodling on view between Spall and Weisz never once suggests the fatal attraction that amounts to one of the various betrayals signaled by the text, another being the way in which life’s quotidian routine can itself conceal the landscape of loss and desolation to which a drunken Jerry unwittingly pays homage at the end. That end, as everyone must know by now, is in this play the beginning, given a reverse-chronology structure that rewinds events across nine years, even as various scenes do in fact follow on from the one before (the first two, for instance).

The design, too, seems overly fussy and self-conscious for a play that needs to work by suggestion and implication, not overkill. From our opening glimpse of Weisz in thigh-high leather boots as an anxious Emma meets Jerry at a London pub two years after their affair has come to an end, this denizen of the gallery world looks like a fashion plate on her perpetual way to (or from) the Oscars, with a passing nod to the London advent of the hippie-era musical, Hair, from which Emma’s final-scene kaftan could have come. The designer, Ann Roth, is one of Hollywood’s greats, but it seems odd to come away from Betrayal of all plays bothered by the characters’ clothes.

Nichols himself remarked in a fascinating radio interview prior to the Broadway opening that he had been in the frame to direct the (very good) film version of this play that ended up in the hands of the late David Jones, with Ben Kingsley in especially commanding form in the role Craig has now. That in turn would suggest a long-time acquaintanceship with a quiet play’s implosive workings that are at odds with the hyperactivity on view here. (The final, very specific stage direction is entirely ignored in favor of a fevered, frantic erotic clinch that seems not at all Pinter-like.)

Performed as the play must be straight through, Betrayal has numerous scene changes that – New York being New York – give the audience ample opportunity to voice their thoughts. “I didn’t know this was supposed to be a comedy,” I heard the couple behind me remarking to one another during one or another of Spall’s sudden surges of stage busy-ness. I didn’t have the heart to turn and inform them that, in fact, it’s not.


http://theaternewsonline.com/NYTheaterR ... ALLURE.cfm

Matt Wolf is also the theatre critic for The Telegraph, I think he gave it 3/5

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Post by CockHargreaves » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:23 pm

Alina, I was being light-hearted too, but I apologise if my original post sounded patronising. I know that you know he's playing a role, obviously. I wouldn't doubt your intelligence for an instant.
I suppose I was agreeing that no one could comprehend a woman being unfaithful to DC, but when you turn DC into Robert it's easier to suspend the disbelief.
Still Forum Friends, I hope and trust :blowkiss: :peace2:

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Alina
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Post by Alina » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:54 pm

CockHargreaves wrote:Alina, I was being light-hearted too, but I apologise if my original post sounded patronising. I know that you know he's playing a role, obviously. I wouldn't doubt your intelligence for an instant.
I suppose I was agreeing that no one could comprehend a woman being unfaithful to DC, but when you turn DC into Robert it's easier to suspend the disbelief.
Still Forum Friends, I hope and trust :blowkiss: :peace2:
It slightly did, hence my reply. But I didn't mean to sound impolite, I was kidding, in fact, so I apologize as well if my post seemed 'snappish' - that was not my intention at all :)

When I said the idea of betraying Daniel was just unbelievable, I, of course, DID realize that Daniel is NOT Robert, who might actually be quite far from what an "ideal" husband is :wink:
Daniel is a great actor, so I'm sure he is very convincingly playing a husband whose wife is unfaithful.
However, you know, as far as Daniel is concerned I can't stay totally objective and unbiased, so even if he played Dr Crippen, I'd still think betraying him would be slightly too far-fetched. :lol:

Friends, of course :)

SG, Thanks a lot for the review, great to read Daniel was excellent, even though the critic wasn't too enthusiastic about the play. A very interesting read.
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Post by Dunda » Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:21 pm

Sylvia's girl wrote: Performed as the play must be straight through, Betrayal has numerous scene changes that – New York being New York – give the audience ample opportunity to voice their thoughts. “I didn’t know this was supposed to be a comedy,” I heard the couple behind me remarking to one another during one or another of Spall’s sudden surges of stage busy-ness. I didn’t have the heart to turn and inform them that, in fact, it’s not.


http://theaternewsonline.com/NYTheaterR ... ALLURE.cfm

Matt Wolf is also the theatre critic for The Telegraph, I think he gave it 3/5
:lol:
That's exactly what I thought might happen. Because you can laugh at some scenes it doesn't mean it's a comedy. It's not and i didn't get the impression at all. It's a angry play, playing with the fury, emotions and even with love which turned into something else underneath. It's simmering and boilding through the whole 90 minutes.
I think some people are just not paying attention, they are not "listening", they just hear the words but don't really listen to what and how it is said.

I just finished reading the play (I had to keep me awake after the flight back home to get into the right time frame :lol: ) and they really took every word onto the stage. So even those "funny words" are angry words when you think about it.
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Post by Sylvia's girl » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:20 am

'Betrayal' features three fantastic performers

The revival of Harold Pinter's tantalizing play "Betrayal," running a limited engagement at the Barrymore Theater, is one of the hottest tickets around because it features popular married actors, namely, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz. Unlike other shows that boast famed stars for that reason only, both Craig and Weisz have been stage performers long before he became James Bond and she appeared in quite a few noteworthy films. This is the third production of the play I have seen and there are some aspects that make it a standout. The last with the excellent Liev Schreiber was quite good except for a wet noodle performance by the otherwise fine Juliette Binoche. Here, all three leads, including a dominant performance by Rafe Spall, son of the quirky character actor Timothy Spall are game for Pinter's romp.

Rafe Spall as Jerry, Rachel Weisz as Emma, Daniel Craig as Robert in Harold Pinter's 'Betrayal,' directed by Mike Nichols, at the Barrymore Theatre.
PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIGITTE LACOMBE
Rafe Spall as Jerry, Rachel Weisz as Emma, Daniel Craig as Robert in Harold Pinter's 'Betrayal,' directed by Mike Nichols, at the Barrymore Theatre.
Under Mike Nichols pointed and authoritative direction, he has infused humor into the show, which premiered back in 1978. It tells the story of the breakup of an affair of two married people in backward chronological order, starting in 1977 and then back to 1968, when Emma (Weisz) and Jerry (Spall) first meet. We first see them in a pub where Emma informs Jerry that she has told her husband, Robert (Craig) about the affair. While Jerry does not take to this very kindly he is unaware that Robert has known about it for quite a while and because they are best friends, Robert forgives him. It is almost as if Robert has overlooked this dalliance because he wants to keep his friendship with a man he cares greatly about and still knows that he has his wife beside him.

This is not an easy play by any means to perform. The actors need to sustain a kind of momentum to make it work, but in reverse. Their furtive and weary looks must easily combine with the happiness they feel when the two lovers are together and when the married couple find romance at an earlier time in Venice. And the three succeed admirably.

Craig gives a penetrating performance and brings a quicksilver wit to the role, while there is something hauntingly sad about Weisz, who balances the guarded vivacity she feels with Robert and the realization that she is not only doing damage to her marriage, but dealing with the eventual disintegration of the affair. Spall, who has the juicier role, is feverishly good with his tenacious hopes of wanting to continue the affair, but still not lose his devoted friend.

Ian MacNeil has designed a most clever set in which the walls of the various locales where the play is set seemingly float up to the rafters. It is done quite stylishly and there is a kind of wispy quality to it which blends in with the fragility of the three people caught in their own triangle.

"Betrayal" is every bit as absorbing as I recall and here with a smattering of humor which makes it feel fresh.

http://www.northjersey.com/arts_enterta ... CLXwm.dpuf

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Post by Sylvia's girl » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:45 am

Mike Nichols’ Betrayal:
You Can’t Argue with Success
(Well, Maybe Just This Once…)


http://apollosgirl.wordpress.com/tag/harold-pinter/

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Post by Germangirl » Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:19 am

I think, its really very interesting, how differently this is perceived. Some abolutely love it, others don't feel it. So - who is wrong? I suppose neither, its all a question of how you want your Pinter. Obviously this is a different, a fresh approach.
The top notch acting in the Weisz/Craig/Spall 'Betrayal' is emotionally true, often v funny and its beautifully staged with filmic qualities..

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Post by Alina » Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:09 pm

Everybody is entitled to their opinions. And all the reviews only show that there's nothing like "objective truth" as far as arts is concerned. It's all based on personal impressions, personal expectations, personal likes and dislikes, personal perception, personal ideas of how something should look like. None of the critics is an "oracle" who knows best. It's just their opinion nobody has to agree with. I haven't seen the play, so I don't have much to say in this respect, but I think the "gripe" about Nichols' not stickig to Pinter's stage directons is just mere nitpicking - every director has his own vision, to which he is entiltled. What we see on stage is an INTERPRETATION of the actual play, if all directors blindly followed stage directions all plays would be the same, but with different actors. I often go to the theatre and I love seeing various "stagings" of the same play - I can compare them and sometimes the one I like best is a very "modern" and unexpected vison.
And from all the reviews, both members' and critics', I gather that I'd love Nichols' Betrayal and all his "alterations" he might have made in terms of interpretation of certain situations. According to what Dunda wrote, they didn't change or skip a single word of Pinter's original play, which is very good. The intepretation, however, is a different kettle of fish and I leave it to the director of the performance. That's what he is for, for God' sake!
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Post by sf2la » Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:52 pm

Alina wrote:Everybody is entitled to their opinions. And all the reviews only show that there's nothing like "objective truth" as far as arts is concerned. It's all based on personal impressions, personal expectations, personal likes and dislikes, personal perception, personal ideas of how something should look like. None of the critics is an "oracle" who knows best. It's just their opinion nobody has to agree with. I haven't seen the play, so I don't have much to say in this respect, but I think the "gripe" about Nichols' not stickig to Pinter's stage directons is just mere nitpicking - every director has his own vision, to which he is entiltled. What we see on stage is an INTERPRETATION of the actual play, if all directors blindly followed stage directions all plays would be the same, but with different actors. I often go to the theatre and I love seeing various "stagings" of the same play - I can compare them and sometimes the one I like best is a very "modern" and unexpected vison.
And from all the reviews, both members' and critics', I gather that I'd love Nichols' Betrayal and all his "alterations" he might have made in terms of interpretation of certain situations. According to what Dunda wrote, they didn't change or skip a single word of Pinter's original play, which is very good. The intepretation, however, is a different kettle of fish and I leave it to the director of the performance. That's what he is for, for God' sake!
:stick_iagree:
I hadn't read the play nor seen any other versions, so I appreciated absorbing what was in front of me rather than drawing comparisons with another direct it's interpretation. It's been interesting to watch the play evolve though. Heck, isn't a little comedy mixed with drama always welcome when it works? All the comedic elements work great. It would be interesting to now compare this version to others though.

Dunda, did the original play include Robert's reference to have liking Jerry better and that maybe he should have had an affair with him? That would have been pretty 'shocking' back then.

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Post by cassandra » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:28 pm

In scene five, set in a hotel room in Venice in summer 1973, Robert says to Emma after he has found out about the affair:

'I’ve always liked Jerry. To be honest, I’ve always liked him rather more than I’ve liked you. Maybe I should have had an affair with him myself.'

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Post by sf2la » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:49 pm

Aha! Thank you, Cass! Before the play started, Daniel said they were throwing in some homosexual bit(s). I guess they didn't add anything except Jerry piling on top of Robert in the last scene.

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Post by cassandra » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:25 pm

sf2la wrote:Aha! Thank you, Cass! Before the play started, Daniel said they were throwing in some homosexual bit(s). I guess they didn't add anything except Jerry piling on top of Robert in the last scene.
I would love to be able to see 'Betrayal' in NY, but instead I have been reading the play, with images of Daniel and Rachel in my head. I find it more difficult to conjure up an image of Rafe as Jerry, although I've seen him in 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Prometheus' and 'Life of Pi'.

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