‘Isn’t that am-dram?’ my friend sneered when I announced I was going to see Betrayal at Ductac. It’s that kind of outmoded sentiment that needs to be kicked out of theatres across the world – and especially with respect to the Dubai Drama Group, following their stellar, sold out run of the Harold Pinter classic.
Said to be inspired by Pinter’s own life, the play traces the trail of love and lies in a triangular relationship between two old friends, and one of their wives. Crucially told in reverse chronological order, beginning with the bitter end and concluding with the hope of adventure and transgression, the carefully-weighed script allows the audience to trace back untruths and future recriminations to their root.
As usual for Pinter, it’s a masterclass in exploring human relations, the battle between the said and the unsaid. But focused on just three leads, such strong and subtle work requires an equally assured cast, which thankfully the Dubai Drama Group provided. Bryan Mackenzie was outstanding as Jerry, the romantic best friend caught in the web of affection he feels for both his comrade and lover. Emma, the greatest transgressor of all, is cold and practical in Lucy McFeely’s able rendering, pragmatically weighing her divided loyalties between the two men she holds dear. And in the hands of Gordon Torbet her husband Robert, the betrayed, deals up all the theatrical irony, distaste, mirth and absurdity the situation he finds himself in deserves.
Now approaching 30 years old, the Dubai Drama Group tackle equally weighty fare with their next production, a little-known adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis (how? you ask) by none other than Steven Berkoff. We’re intrigued – see how it’s done at Thejamjar on November 28-29 and December 6 and 7. Find out more: www.dubaidramagroup.com.