"Betrayal" takes audiences on an intriguing journey through time

The cast of Ensemble Theatre Company's 'Betrayal'. Left to right: James Gill, Corina Akeson and Tariq Leslie. Photo credit: Thorsten Gohl.

Ensemble Theatre Company’s production is a creative telling of how deception and secrets can impact relationships.

Remember the famous quote “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives”? Ensemble Theatre Company’s current play, Betrayal by Harold Pinter, is an up close and personal exploration of relationships and secrets, set against an ever-present reminder of the passing of time.

Presented on the intimate stage of the Jericho Arts Centre in a multiple-ring circus type layout, director Matthew Bissett’s creative interpretation of Pinter’s play, complete with a giant hourglass-like set-up in the centre, is intriguing. The play begins with a meeting between Emma (Corina Akeson) and Jerry (Tariq Leslie), who we learn have been having an affair behind the back of Emma’s husband, Robert, for years. Throughout the next 90 minutes, we travel back in time to various key points throughout the affair, where piece by piece we learn more about what really happened.

What I enjoyed about Akeson’s performance was that she really embodied the thoughts and emotions of her character in each scene, changing things up to match where each scene fits within the time span of the play. Akeson showed that even when a play’s story isn’t told in a linear fashion, an actor can still show character growth. Gill demonstrates character growth as well, although his part affords him less opportunity than Akeson’s.

Leslie delivers an interestingly dark performance, matching the intriguing nature of the glass of sand he often carries with him onstage. The theme of sand and time plays a fascinating role in Betrayal, and audiences will enjoy the somewhat abstract and deep nature of this drama.

So if you’re in the mood for an interesting exploration of deception and secrets, and the impact they can have on relationships, head down to the Jericho Arts Centre to take a walk through Emma, Jerry and Robert’s journey in Betrayal.

Betrayal is part of Ensemble Theatre Company’s fourth annual Summer Repertory Festival, which runs until August 20 at the Jericho Arts Centre. Visit Ensemble Theatre Company’s website for more information.