Les Liaisons Dangereuses
From: Wednesday, 3rd December 2003
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In the glittering salons of 18th century France the Marquise de Merteuil is devising an ingenious plot, for which she will require the help of her lover, the Vicomte de Valmont, a man whose incredible powers of seduction are matched only by his ruthless instinct for intrigue. And so begins an electrifying sequence of longing, betrayal and lies. But what happens if, when out hunting for pure passion, one stumbles upon true love? The mesmerising tale of sexual power games is one of the most highly regarded dramas of the last decade, becoming an Oscar winning movie and a hit around the world.
13 December 2003
There's no getting around the fact that Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a brilliant play - and it has been done exceedingly brilliantly in the past.
Based on Choderlos de Laclos' 1782 epistolary novel about the sexually fuelled power struggles of the otherwise idle French aristocracy, Hampton's stage adaptation premiered in 1985 in an RSC production, starring Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan, that transferred to the West End and Broadway, scooping up accolades including the Olivier for Best New Play along the way. In 1988, it was famously made into an Oscar-winning film starring John Malkovich, Glenn Close and Michelle Pfeiffer.
The ghosts of those many fine performances still linger and are always in danger of obstructing objective assessments of any fresh takes on the piece - which makes it a very brave decision on the part of any director or performer to tackle Les Liaisons Dangereuses anew.
Latest User Review
USER: Whatsonstage.com (188.8.131.52) - 29 December 2003:
Absolutely painful - horribly miscast, hideously designed and painfully slow. A couple of years ago York Theatre Royal put on a marvellous production of this play with no star names and a limited budget, yet more proof that regional theatre can wipe the floor with its West End counterpart....
Polly Walker (Marquise de Merteuil)
Jared Harris (Le Vicomte de Valmont)
Emilia Fox (Madame de Tourvel)
Dilys Laye (Madame de Rosemonde)
Laurence Penry-Jones (Danceny)
Jeremy Edwards (Azolan)
Sarah Woodward (Madame de Volanges)
Olivia Llewellyn (Cecile Volanges)
Sean Oliver (Major DomoP