Maskers' Studio Theatreon
9th to 13th September 2014
Harold Pinter, (1930 – 2008) was a Nobel Prize-winning English playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. (Pinter received over 50 awards, prizes, and other honours, including the French Légion d'honneur in 2007). One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include 'The Birthday Party' (1957), 'The Homecoming' (1964), and 'Betrayal' (1978), each of which he adapted for the screen. He also directed or acted in radio, stage, television, and film productions of his own and others' works.
Pinter was born and raised in Hackney, east London, and educated at Hackney Downs School. He was a sprinter and a keen cricket player, acting in school plays and writing poetry. He attended RADA but did not complete the course. He was fined for refusing National Service as a conscientious objector.
Subsequently, he continued training at the Central School of Speech and Drama and worked in repertory theatre in Ireland and England. In 1956 he married actress Vivien Merchant and had a son, Daniel born in 1958. He left Merchant in 1975 and married author Lady Antonia Fraser in 1980. Whilst married to Vivien Merchant he had a long affair with broadcaster Joan Bakewell (the basis for 'Betrayal') as well as an unnamed New York socialite.
Tautly written throughout, the play features Pinter’s economical dialogue, hidden emotions, one-upmanship and deceptions. It is set in reverse chronology between 1977 and 1968, and was inspired by Pinter’s affair with TV presenter Joan Bakewell.
We witness the seemingly endless permutations of betrayal in the seven-year affair involving a married couple, Emma and Robert, and Robert's "close friend" Jerry, (who is married to Judith). For five years Jerry and Emma carry on their affair, betraying both Robert and Judith, until Emma admits her infidelity to Robert. But she continues the affair.
As one critic wrote, "It shows, heartlessly, that the very capacity for love itself is sometimes based on betraying not only other loved ones, but even ourselves."
|Neil Gwynne - This is Neil’s first outing for Maskers as Director - although he has previously appeared in two Maskers productions (‘The Graduate’ and ‘Proof’). Previous times as Director have been mostly with RAODS, and included the complete first series of Alan Bennett’s ‘Talking Heads’, John Godber’s ‘April In Paris’ and Brian Friel’s ‘Dancing At Lughnasa’. This is Neil’s first Harold Pinter play but hopefully - he says - not his last!|
|Emma is played by Clare Groome. This is Clare’s second appearance with the Maskers having appeared in ‘Proof’ as Claire in May. Clare is also an active member of RAODS, having appeared in a variety of shows with them, playing a nun, an overbearing 40-something, a man, a poet and (at very short notice) no less than 7 parts in ‘Jane Eyre’. She’s pleased to be back to her roots of “posh voice” having unveiled her American accent for the first time in ‘Proof’!|
|Jerry is played by Paul Cresser. When Paul appeared in ‘How the Other Half Loves’ for Southampton University Players in 2010, it marked a return to the stage after a break of nearly 10 years. Before this, he had appeared in many productions including ‘Cold Comfort Farm’, ‘Blithe Spirit’ and ‘Cinderella’. Since his return to the stage he has also appeared in several productions with SUP including ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ and most recently Nick Carraway in ‘The Great Gatsby’. This is Paul’s first production for Maskers and he has very much enjoyed the challenge of his first experience of a Pinter play!|
|Robert is played by Jonathan Marmont. Jonathan joined RAODS in 2010 appearing in the musicals ‘Gypsy’ and ‘Guys & Dolls’ , and as King Sid in ‘Sleeping Beauty’. 2012 saw Jonathan in a production of ‘The 39 Steps’ at the open air Minack Theatre in Cornwall, playing in excess of 17 roles. This was swiftly followed by a production of ‘The Flint Street Nativity’, and then another multiple character role in ‘Ladies Down Under’. His most recent productions were ‘Jane Eyre’ - playing Rochester – and ‘The Accrington Pals’, which was a very powerful experience. ‘Betrayal’ is Jonathan’s debut with The Maskers, and he is looking forward to future productions.|
|A Waiter is played by Paul Green. Paul has been a Masker for just under two years, although he’s been involved in theatre of all kinds for over 40 years. He directed the One-Act play ‘Contractions’ in the Studio in March 2013. He has worked with the director, Neil Gwynne, previously where he moved furniture but never spoke. The Italian waiter is a progression, in that he moves the furniture, but gets to talk, albeit briefly and in an accent! Paul will be directing the Maskers 2015 January Nuffield production - an adaptation of Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’.|
|For the Maskers:|
|The Director||Neil Gwynne|
|Production Manager :||Kathrina Gwynne|
|Stage Manager :||Kathrina Gwynne|
|Set Design :||Neil Gwynne|
|Lighting Designer :||Mike Matthias|
|Lighting Operator :||Mike Matthias|
|Sound Designer :||Jamie McCarthy|
|Sound Operator :||David Cowley|
|Stage Crew :||Paul Green & Greg Parr|
|Costumes :||Meri Mackney and cast|
|Properties :||Greg Parr|
|Technical Manager :||Jamie McCarthy|
|Lighting Consultant :||Clive Weeks|
|For the Company:|
|Technical Manager:- Jamie McCarthy
Marketing Director:- Sarah Russell
Marketing Team:- Angela Stansbridge, Ruth Kibble, Leah Barlow, James Norton, Clive Weeks, Greg Parr, Zannah Lawther
Front of House Manager:- Chris Baker
Front of House Display:- Hannah Swieton, Leah Barlow
Box Office Manager:- Chris Baker
Photography:- Clive Weeks
Bar Manager:- Jan Spiers
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