The play begins in the present, with the meeting of Emma and Jerry, whose adulterous affair of seven years ended two years earlier. Emma's marriage to Robert, Jerry's best friend, is now breaking up, and she needs someone to talk to. Their reminiscences reveal that Robert knew of their affair all along and, to Jerry's dismay, regarded it with total nonchalance. Thereafter, in a series of contiguous scenes, the play moves backward in time, from the end of the Emma-Jerry affair to its beginning, throwing into relief the little lies and oblique remarks that, in this time-reverse, reveal more than direct statements, or overt actions, ever could.
A critical and popular success on both sides of the Atlantic. Winner in New York of the Drama Critics Circle Award as best foreign play and in London of the West End Award as best play of the season. Dealing with the "eternal triangle"—wife, husband and the wife's lover—the playwright, with his customary inventiveness and subtlety, brings new insights to this timeless theme. "…marvelous scenes, packed with suppressed tension, torn loyalties and confused, unspoken feelings…" —NY Times. "BETRAYAL is an exquisite play, brilliantly simple in form and courageous in its search for a poetry that turns banality into melancholy beauty." —Newsweek. "…a powerful expression of the chasm between recollection and reality, of the gaps between people who need to be intimate with each other." —Village Voice.