Lekan at the helm as director for Betrayal

Derby Theatre’s apprentice director Lekan Lawal will be at the helm for the March production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal.

Lekan came to the city from London via the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme which offers exceptional emerging young people the chance to become artistic leaders.

Last year he assisted with various productions including Look Back in Anger, Sweeney Todd and Alice In Wonderland at Christmas but this is his first time directing for Derby Theatre.

“I’m delighted to be directing Betrayal as part of Derby Theatre’s spring season as a culmination of an 18-month placement here,” he said.

“Pinter’s semi-autobiographical play expertly delves into the inherently complex nature of desire and the unforeseen ramifications of deceit.”

Betrayal tells the story of Emma and Jerry who meet two years on from the end of their adulterous affair. Emma has betrayed her husband Robert. Jerry has betrayed his best friend Robert. But Robert has secrets of his own.

As time peels backwards charting a seven-year love affair, a complicated and intricate web of lies and deceit is revealed, making us question who is betraying whom.

Inspired, in part, by Harold Pinter’s affair with BBC presenter Joan Bakewell and written in 1978, the first production of Betrayal went on to win the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, as well as being adapted into an Academy Award and BAFTA-nominated film.

“His experimentation with non-linear form, by way of reverse chronology to explore memory, is riveting and in many ways feels both cinematic and contemporary, revealing both the causality and emotional cost of prolonged deception upon Emma, Jerry and Robert.” said Lekan.

“We’ve brought together an incredibly talented cast and creative team and I am looking forward to sharing this fantastic play with Derby audiences.”

Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. He was also a screen writer, director, political activist, actor and one of the 20th century’s most influential dramatists.

He wrote 32 plays, 22 screenplays and directed 36 theatre productions, with classic pieces of work including The Birthday Party, The Homecoming, The Caretaker and the The Dumb Waiter.

In this production, on from March 17-April 1,  Ben Addis will play Robert and his recent credits include The Night Watch (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Richard III (West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Kemi-Bo Jacobs will play Emma and her recent credits include All My Sons (Manchester Royal Exchange and National Tour), Hedda Gabler (Salisbury Playhouse) and The Burial (The Albany).

Philip Correia will play Jerry and his recent theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Anthony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare’s Globe and international tour).

Completing the cast, in the role of the waiter, will be Matthew Curnier.