#TheaterPH - West End to Manila: Betrayal is part of The Bridge Project for PH local theater talents

The 87th season of Repertory Philippines (REP) begins on March 1 with the Manila premiere of Betrayal, a well-known play by Nobel Prize-winning playwright and British theater icon Harold Pinter. The show runs from March 1 to March 17 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater in RCBC Plaza.

Betrayal, which won both the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and the Olivier Award, uses a reverse chronological framework to convey the moving story of Emma, Robert, and Jerry, Robert's best friend, having an adulterous affair. The play, which is a three-hander and spans nine years in London and Venice, was inspired by Pinter's own seven-year relationship.

Directed by critically acclaimed actor and theater director Victor Lirio, Betrayal features a cast of London-based Filipino actors James Bradwell, James Cooney, and Vanessa White who all boast extensive experience on stage and on screen, and beyond. 

James Cooney

New York and London-based Lirio has directed several productions in New York and London. He was most recently Resident Director on Dr Semmelweis in the West End starring Oscar winner Mark Rylance at Harold Pinter Theatre in London. He was the former artistic director of Diverse City Theater in New York. 

James Bradwell

Bradwell has performed at prestigious venues in London such as Shakespeare’s Globe and The Royal Court Theatre, and has played various TV roles including a part in Netflix’s Bridgerton. Cooney has played lead roles in several productions at The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Old Vic, and, most recently, The Almeida Theatre in London. Finally, White, also a former member of English-Irish girl group The Saturdays, returns to her theater roots having performed in the West End productions of The Lion King and The King and I. 

They will be joined by Manila-based actors and Philstage Gawad Buhay awardees Regina De Vera and Jef Flores. Betrayal will feature set design by Miguel Urbino, lighting design by John Batalla, sound design by Fabian Obispo, and costume design by Becky Bodurtha. 

“I am thrilled to be directing my first production in my home country and at Repertory Philippines,” Lirio says. “We will be exploring Betrayal from the second-generation Filipino immigrant experience in London and set it in the contemporary time. Though born in England, actors James Cooney’s and Vanessa White’s families are from Davao and James Bradwell’s from Naga City. My family is from Batangas. And we will mine our Filipino roots to re-tell this beautiful and complicated story.” 

REP presents Betrayal as part of The Bridge Project, a collaboration among global professional theater practitioners of Filipino descent from New York, London, and Manila. Launched by Lirio in June 2020 in London and currently in partnership with REP in Manila, this global undertaking serves as a skills exchange platform. The Bridge Project will offer free Knowledge Sharing Sessions that will touch on theater topics like Shakespeare text rhetoric, text & scene study, script analysis for visual designers, voice and theater experience, as well as a speaker series forum and some staged readings. The classes will be held at MINT College, Mckinley Hill and Ortigas Campus. Registration begins the first week of February. Interested parties may download application forms at repertoryphilippines.ph and their social media channels. 

“I sense a real commitment and passion from REP for a global collaboration among Filipino artists,” adds Lirio. “I’m grateful to REP President and CEO Mindy Perez-Rubio for supporting The Bridge Project’s ethos and for having the London-based Filipino actors and me. We’re all very excited to collaborate with fellow theater artists in Manila in presenting one of Pinter’s most extraordinary plays.” 

For show-buying and ticket inquiries, contact REP at 0966-905-4013 or send us an email at marketing@repphil.org,  sales@repphil.org or through this link: https://linktr.ee/repertoryphilippines Tickets are now available via Ticketworld.  

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