As previously tipped (See The Goss, 17 Oct & 12 Sep), a new production of Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses will open in the West End this winter. The revival, directed by filmmaker Tim Fywell (I Capture the Castle), is now confirmed to open at the West End's Playhouse Theatre on 12 December 2003, following previews from 3 December.

Based on Choderlos de Laclos' 1782 novel about the sexually fuelled power struggles of the French aristocracy, Hampton's stage adaptation premiered at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1985 in a production, starring Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan, that transferred to Broadway and won numerous awards including the Olivier for Best New Play.

In 1988, the piece was famously made into the Oscar-winning Hollywood film Dangerous Liaisons, with John Malkovich and Glenn Close (pictured) in the leads and Michelle Pfeiffer playing Valmont's virtuous conquest Madame de Tourvel.

In Fywell's production, screen actors Polly Walker (Eight and a Half Women, Patriot Games, Emma) and Jared Harris (Igby Goes Down, Perfume, Natural Born Killers) will play the scheming Marquise de Merteuil and Valmont, with English rose Emilia Fox (Richard II, Coriolanus, Good on stage) as Madame de Tourvel. The cast will also include Jeremy Edwards, Dilys Laye and Laurence Penry-Jones.

Earlier this year (See News, 28 Feb 2003), Les Liaisons Dangereuses was revived, with Rupert Penry-Jones and Dervla Kirwan, in a separate production at Bristol Old Vic directed by Award-winning Best Actor Samuel West.

The Playhouse has been dark since late August, when the West End return season of Nicholas Wright's award-winning Vincent in Brixton concluded.

- by Terri Paddock