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LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES


Photo by Joan Marcus
Janet McTeer & Liev Schreiber in Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Janet McTeer & Liev Schreiber in Les Liaisons Dangereuses
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It’s your last chance to catch our #ShowOfTheWeek and one of the finest stage actors of our time in Janet McTeer, as the Donmar Warehouse production of Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses will play its final performance at Broadway’s Booth Theatre on January 8th, 2017.

Directed by the Donmar’s Artistic Director Josie Rourke, this production boasts a stellar cast and a beautifully crafted and ghostly scenic design by Tom Scutt, which sovereignly tells this infamous tale of lust, revenge and 18th century scandal.

Having already played the role of La Marquise de Merteuil in the London production, Britain’s Janet McTeer returns to the New York stage with an utterly captivating and bitterly nuanced performance that resembles perhaps the best of any dramatic performance seen this Broadway season. She is accompanied by Tony winner and five-time Golden Globe nominee Liev Schreiber as her sexual sparring partner Le Vicomte de Valmont, as well as well-rounded supporting performances from the likes of Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (as Madame de Tourvel), Elena Kampouris (as Cécile Volanges), and Mary Beth Peil (as Madame de Rosemonde), among others.

The decaying set, scattered with empty picture frames mirrors the decomposition of the class of aristocracy and Michael Bruce has composed equally haunting music specifically for this production. During scene changes, cast members sing and chant in unison, often carrying burning candles across the stage. The effect heightens the degree of threat and conveys the feeling of uneasiness and foreboding ahead of the play’s bitter climax.

There are also some beautiful moments created by supporting cast members. In particular the heart-wrenching scene between Birgitte Hjort Sørensen’s Madame de Tourvel and Mary Beth Peil’s Madame de Rosemonde struck a chord with me. Tourvel pours out her soul and Rosemonde reveals she knows all too well the dangerous games being played and emerges as the voice of reason instead of an oblivious, ageing figure. It is moments like these that further enrich a production, which is so heavily dominated by the lead character’s performance.

Click HERE to read our interview with Tony nominee Mary Beth Peil.

If you revel in notions of psychological warfare, then witnessing these two aristocratic icons cruelly manipulate each other and leave a line of victims in their wake may be just the treat for you!

Click here for tickets to Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which plays its final performance on January 8th, 2017 at Broadway's Booth Theatre.

- by Tom Millward

Production Details
Venue: Booth Theatre
Genre: Drama
Previewed: 08 Oct 2016
Opened: 30 Oct 2016
Playwright: Christopher Hampton
Director: Josie Rourke

Synopsis: In 1782, Choderlos de Laclos' novel of sex, intrigue and betrayal in pre-revolutionary France scandalized the world. Two hundred years later, in 1985, Christopher Hampton's stage adaptation became an award-winning sensation in London's West End and on Broadway. Former lovers, La Marquise de Merteuil and Le Vicomte de Valmont compete in games of seduction and revenge. These merciless aristocrats toy with the hearts and reputations of innocents. Merteuil incites Valmont to corrupt the convent-educated Cecile de Volanges before her wedding night but Valmont has other designs. His target is the peerlessly virtuous and happily married Madame de Tourvel.

Cast: Janet McTeer (La Marquise de Merteuil), Liev Schreiber (Le Vicomte de Valmont), Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (Madame de Tourvel), Raffi Barsoumian (Le Chevalier Danceny), Ora Jones (Madame de Volanges), Elena Kampouris (Cécile Volanges), Katrina Cunningham (Émilie), Josh Salt (Azolan), Joy Franz (Victoire), David Patterson (Major-domo), Laura Sudduth (Julie) & Mary Beth Peil (Madame de Rosemonde)

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