There is something about watching a live performance that gives me the chills and makes me smile. I love the talent, the limited room for error and the atmosphere that hearing someone sing, dance or speak brings to an auditorium.
On Saturday night we headed to the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield to see Harold Pinter’s Betrayal. Betrayal is a reminiscence of a seven-year affair set in reverse beginning (or ending) in 1977 and ending (or beginning) in 1968. The stage, a revolving glass platform, was littered underneath with tokens of a personal nature, the set dressed to bare minimum with pieces of furniture suited to the period. What I love about the Crucible is the intimacy of it. It is not a big venue so where ever you sit you have a great view of the stage and you can actually see the actors clearly unlike arena shows where some of the seats are so far away from the act you may as well be watching from home.
I was particularly looking forward to seeing Betrayal because the character of Jerry was being played by John Simm an actor who’s television work I have enjoyed for many years. But he wan’t alone on the stage and the other cast members (Ruth Gemmell, Colin Tierney and Thomas Tinker) certainly didn’t disappoint. The dialogue was quick and the acting real and honest.
I have no idea where you would begin to write a stage play and even less idea of how the directors break it down or how the actors deliver the words so well to an audience who may not be familiar with the work of the writer to keep them engaged through the whole performance. Betrayal is the first Pinter play that I have seen, I hope it won’t be the last.
After the final curtain we went to the Crucible Corner pub for a quick post performance drink where, to our delight, we saw Ruth Gemmell and Thomas Tinker. While she waited at the bar to be served I took the opportunity to congratulate her on the performance and how much we had enjoyed the play.
But, it is not just a live performance that gives me the chills and makes me smile. This afternoon has been warm and sunny – quite a rare thing at the moment – so we, the boy and I, headed out into the garden. Yesterday we dug out the beach tent and put it up in the garden. Today, we sat in it and watched the bees dancing on the honeysuckle, then we hid from the garden tigers (everything is about tigers at the moment) in it and then blew hundreds of glistening bubbles over the top of it towards the fence where they bounced and broke into dewy drops.
- John Simm on the genius of Pinter (guardian.co.uk)