YOU never feel totally comfortable watching a Harold Pinter play. The characters teeter on the brink of unpredictability, formula driven the work of this bespectacled genius most definitely isn't. Leave your comfort zone at the theatre door, please.
Jerry and Emma meet for a catch up at a pub and it soon becomes apparent they have a past, even if they keep a tight rein on their emotions. It could be two former work colleagues having a catch up, but it isn't.
The play takes us back in time nine years and we see far more passion then, with Jerry behaving like an infatuated schoolboy towards Emma, worshipping her like a goddess.
While the pace of Betrayal is positively forensic at times, it is an engrossing, intriguing and grown up piece of theatre featuring some fabulous, witty and insightful lines from a master playwright. I've always been attracted to the work of artists who refuse to bow to convention and it goes without saying Pinter was a true enigma.
For me, this is Jacqueline Wheble's best performance to date at the Garrick, breezing across the stage with supreme confidence as Emma. She and Malcolm Cooper, who plays Jerry are really good together and very, very believable. Paul Wilson, an actor I rate very highly, gives his reputation yet another major boost as Emma's hubby, Robert.
Thisis a major achievement for all concerned, including the production's director, Richard Sails.
* Until May 28. The box office is on 0161 928 1677. Star rating - ****