Monday, May 18, 2009

Betrayed by the Keys

There's a moment in Harold Pinter's Betrayal where a man and woman who have been having an affair decide to give up their flat. The scene is a break up just as painful and as heart-felt as any legitimate relationship. At the end of the scene the woman, Emma, goes to remove the key to the flat from her key ring. The couple has been fighting and she is distracted and thus unable to remove the key, so she flings it at Jerry and tells him to take it off for her.

It's a poignant moment symbolizing many things. The violent end of the relationship. Her throwing the whole thing away and leaving him to deal with the repercussions.

I saw a production where the actress playing Emma fumbled the keys in this scene and gave them only an awkward toss. The result muddied the scene and it didn't come to the crisp ending that it should have. The ironic thing is, what happened to the actress what what was really supposed to happen in the scene. That's the funny thing about theatre is that even "mistakes" have to be meticulously choreographed to work properly. Everything has to appear spontaneous and effortless in order to work in the grand scheme of things.

Happy Birthday: Tina Fey (b. 1970)

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