Mumbai, 12th July 2023: Aadyam Theatre, an Aditya Birla Group initiative, presents its latest play of the season – ‘Betrayal,’ directed by Rachel D’Souza and produced by 3 Parts Company, the theatrical production is known to captivate its audiences with a beautifully captured love triangle that presents a searingly tender picture of fragile memories, wounded hearts and how easily our grasps over reality can unravel.
Betrayal revolves around two love stories, with forbidden sparks, infidelity, deception and a barrage of complex human emotions. It intricately explores two distinct love stories – that unfold between three characters through a series of meetings and conversations. Starting in 1977, the play unfolds in reverse chronology, with lovers Jerry and Emma meeting after a gap of two years. From here, it spirals backwards all the way to 1968 to the first transgression when Jerry, Robert’s closest friend, declares his undying love for Emma, Robert’s wife. Along the way, the audience is drawn into various events in time, when things both said and unsaid create a compelling theatrical experience.
The backward structure of the story, ‘stops the audience from concentrating on cause and effect and making the associated moral judgements that they might ordinarily induce. Each character elicits disdain and admiration in different measures at different stages, supporting the idea that there are many realities and changing viewpoints in life, and that no one sets out with a clear motivation for their actions. The characters sometimes seem to drift into decisions and choices, deceiving themselves and others into further acts of betrayal.
The Director of the play, Rachel D’Souza was quoted as saying,” Almost as an after effect of the lockdown, I developed an interest in intimate stories of relationships, familial bonds, friendships and the mechanisms of attachment and loyalty in them. ‘Betrayal’ speaks to all these elements in a haunting and riveting theatrical structure. It plays out in reverse, like a downward spiral in time. We begin the play at the end of the story and move back towards how it all began! How an affair began, how a marriage crumbled, how families reorganized themselves and how the characters slowly came to confront their choices and actions. I daresay it has a murder mystery quality blended into a very deeply domestic, feelings-based narrative. They fixate on when and how something happened, but hardly ever why something happened. Vivek Gomber and Sukant Goel who play Robert (husband) and Jerry (friends/lover) respectively, play with fraught emotions, men who don’t speak their minds but take funny jabs at each other in any situation. Abir Abrar plays Emma (Robert’s wife and Jerry’s lover), completing a friendly but unsettling triangle. The cast must play an arc of being duplicitous and genuine, creating a difficult tightrope to watch. The best part is, they must showcase the empathy that is linked to the emotions behind the betrayal written into every scene. Our version is also accompanied by live music from Nush Lewis, who’s moody vocal style brings a whole new dimension to the story.”
Rachel D’Souza, the director of “Betrayal,” brings a wealth of experience and artistic vision to the production. Nush Lewis’s mastery of the Harp allows her to evoke a wide range of emotions, from subtle and delicate melodies to powerful and intense compositions. Her live musical interludes between scenes provide seamless transitions, allowing the audience to immerse themselves deeper into the narrative.
Nadir Khan, the artistic director of Aadyam was quoted speaking about the highly anticipated production, “Betrayal brings this season of Aadyam to a close. It is a play that is quite widely regarded as one of his most iconic works. The play is a piercing examination of the dynamics of betrayal within relationships – platonic and romantic. The story is told in reverse chronology, which is a fascinating experience for audience members, as we are taken through the life-span of a love triangle between a married couple and the husband’s best friend. Directed by Rachel Dsouza and starring Abir Abrar, Sukant Goel and Vivek Gomber, this is a production that I am certainly looking forward to.”
The play features a stellar cast of proficient actors, including Abir Abrar, Sukant Goel and Vivek Gombar who do complete justice to the original adaptation, with each character’s journey intricately interwoven, leading to a powerful and cohesive presentation.