Les Liaisons Dangereuses: First Reviews and Pics!

Note: This is an archived entry that’s over two years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material.

At long last we have some images to go with the tantalizing descriptions of STC’s new production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses that the actors and director (and preview audience tweeters) have been teasing us with for a week. 😉 The first formal review has been posted at Stage Whispers, featuring four images from the modern yet still lavish, decadent production (all pictures by Brett Boardman) :

Hugo Weaving and Geraldine Hakewell (interesting to compare this with the photo from the 1987 production in the previous Hugonuts post). 😉

Justine Clarke and Hugo Weaving

Hugo Weaving and Pamela Rabe

The set (and cast trying to look innocent) 😉

Stage Whispers was mostly enthusiastic, though they couldn’t resist recycling the old predatory feline metaphors prevalent in 1987:  “…It has been one of the most keenly anticipated plays of the Sydney year. The STC debut of Griffin Artistic Director Sam Strong with an A list cast. The result lived up to the hype…

Hugo Weaving played the rapacious scoundrel Le Vicomte De Valmont. He moved around the stage like a panther stalking his prey. It was a role he played several decades ago, and it has matured on him like a good vintage red wine.”

More reviews (and, hopefully, images) will be added as they roll in. Audience comments via Twitter and Facebook have been uniformly rapturous. (The one dissent, rather predictably, was from the Daily Telegraph critic, who, IMO, doesn’t seem to understand that the dynamic between Merteuil and Valmont IS one of hatred, not of love or lust.)

And I gotta say I’m glad Hugo’s gone with the same look in the play’s advertising… it really suits him. Um… so to speak. 😉

STC has finally posted some production photos to their blog; some are duplicates of those above, but these two are new (all by Brett Boardman) :

Pamela Rabe and Hugo Weaving

Hugo and Geraldine Hakewell

UPDATE: another rave from Eight Nights a Week: “Written in 1985, Hampton’s adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’ epistolary novel of 1782 remains a scintillating dissection of two predators and Strong’s sparely elegant production serves it well, privileging the sophistication of its ideas over its capacity to titillate….The careful regulation of tone results in a first half that seems worryingly arid at times, but that avoidance of emotion works to set the audience up for a vivid second act whose energy seems to mirror Valmont’s brief flowering as a man in love….Unrecognisable for a moment under her feathery silver bob, Rabe plays Merteuil as a fearless and calculating player….By contrast, Weaving’s rakishly over-the-hill Valmont is a consummate portrayal of a shapeshifting seducer who callously wrecks the lives of the 15-year-old convent girl Cecile (Geraldine Hakewill, excellent in the role) and Mme. de Tourvel (a heart-rending Justine Clarke), whose faith in God and humanity Valmont is compelled to destroy.”


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