Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Les Liaisons Dangereuses...
In 1782, Choderlos de Laclos’ novel of sex, intrigue and betrayal in pre-revolutionary France scandalised the world. Two hundred years later the book was triumphantly adapted as a play and now here revived for our utter delight.
Josie Rourke has drawn together a stellar cast. Elaine Cassidy as the at first pure but soon coquettish Madame de Tourvel, Janet McTeer as the Machiavellian Marquise de Merteuil and Dominic West as the cad Vicomte de Valmont.
We were soon star spotting too with surpise appearances by the wonderful Adjoa Andoh as oft duped Madame de Volanges and Shelock's own housekeeper Una Stubbs as aging but wise Madame de Rosemonde.
The plot is complex but beautifully realised. Former lovers, the Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont now compete in games of seduction and revenge. Merteuil incites Valmont to corrupt the innocent Cecile de Volanges before her wedding night but Valmont has targeted the peerlessly virtuous and beautiful Madame de Tourvel. While these merciless aristocrats toy with others’ hearts and reputations, their own may prove more fragile than they supposed.
Top draw actors, top drawer play, top drawer night at the theatre.
Highly recommended - if you like your seduction piping hot and your revenge icy cold.