Top trio in Betrayal

Published April 17, 2008

Dervla Kirwan, Toby Stephens and Samuel West have been cast in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal at the Donmar Warehouse (31 May-21 July).

Betrayal is the story of a love triangle between a woman, her husband and his best friend, and relates the seven-year affair in reverse, from its poignant end to the illicit first kiss. One of Pinter’s most popular plays, Betrayal premiered at the National in 1978, directed by Peter Hall. In 2003 Hall mounted a new production at Theatre Royal Bath which came to the West End’s Duchess theatre and starred Janie Dee, Hugo Speer and Aden Gillett.

Kirwan is best known for her television roles in Goodnight Sweetheart, Hearts And Bones, Ballykissangel, 55 Degrees North and Casanova. Her London stage credits include Dangerous Corner at the Garrick in 2001, The Aristocrats at the National in 2005 and most recently Exiles, also at the National, last year.

Actor and director Samuel West has frequently performed on the London stage where his credits include A Life In The Theatre, Arcadia, The Sea, Richard II and Hamlet. He has directed several plays and an opera, Cosi Fan Tutte for ENO. On screen he has appeared in many television series such as Waking The Dead, Midsomer Murders and Cambridge Spies, alongside Betrayal co-star Stephens. His film credits include Van Helsing, Iris, Notting Hill and Howard’s End, in which he starred alongside his mother Prunella Scales. Since June 2005 he has been Artistic Director at Sheffield Theatres, where last November he appeared with his father Timothy West in A Number. He is due to step down from his post this year.

Stephens’s face is familiar on screen from his roles in the films Possession, Onegin and Die Another Day, plus television series Jane Eyre, Sharpe’s Challenge and Waking The Dead. On stage he has worked for the RSC in productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet, which came to the West End in 2004, while other London appearances include A Streetcar Named Desire and The Royal Family.

Betrayal is directed by Roger Michell, who previously directed Pinter’s Old Times at the Donmar. His film work includes the recent Venus, Enduring Love and Notting Hill, while in London he has directed My Night With Reg for the Royal Court, plus The Homecoming, Honour and Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange for the National. He returns to the National next month with another Penhall play, Landscape With Weapon.

CB