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Elliot Norton Reviews; Betrayal


Preservation Dub from 2” Master ; transferred 8/27/99

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Elliot Norton Reviews
Program Number


Series Description

Boston theatre critic Elliot Norton interviews prominent actors, directors and producers on their craft. (Aired from October, 1958 to 1982. Winner of both Peabody and Tony Awards.) Series release date: 1958

Program Description

Elliot Norton interviews director David Wheeler and actors Richard Jordan and Paul Benedict about their production of Harold Pinter’s 1978 play, Betrayal at the Boston Playhouse. This ironic comedy about adultery was first successful in London, New York, and Providence, R.I. before coming to Boston. The play begins in 1977 with the love affair between Emma and Jerry (Jordan) and goes in reverse chronological order to 1968, when Jerry first fell in love with Emma in London. Emma’s husband Robert (Benedict), who is Jerry’s best friend, end up finding out about their affair. Wheeler talks about his first impression of the play when he saw it in New York. He did not think that they considered the alternative choices the characters could have made, which gives them fuller characterization. He talks about why we was disappointed in the play and did not think that the production lived up to its potential. In his opinion, part of the problem lay in the fact that they tried to copy the London production. The guests and Norton discuss the difference between American and British attitudes towards expressing strong emotions. Wheeler believes that the Boston production is trying to get at the underbelly of the play and pull out the feelings of the characters. Jordan talks about how this is his first experience in a Pinter play and dismisses the New York production as a bedroom farce. He also talks about what he likes about the character of Jerry.

Director: Joanna Lu. Taped 11/14/1980.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Talk Show
Performing Arts
Chicago: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Betrayal,” 11/14/1980, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 19, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F9025C3D46564B3D87175B04DC14AE3D.
MLA: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Betrayal.” 11/14/1980. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 19, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F9025C3D46564B3D87175B04DC14AE3D>.
APA: Elliot Norton Reviews; Betrayal. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F9025C3D46564B3D87175B04DC14AE3D
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