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.
Thanks to all my friends and readers for their patience as I’ve dealt with a major computer meltdown here. My machine is now in the shop for diagnostics and (hopefully) repairs, and until I get it back in working order, my online sessions will be somewhat limited and curtailed, as I’m borrowing computers from friends and relatives who don’t have my files and software in place.
Fortunately, though, I can still share links and photos, and will do so whenever the opportunity presents itself. Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton continues to draw sellout crowds and new rave reviews. I’ll post a selection of the latest bunch below, but first I’ll alert you that there’s a great slideshow of new and previously seen photos from the play over on Australian Stage Online. All photos (including the pair below) are by Brett Boardman.
Time Out Sydney: “”The play’s most extravagant warrior/player is the rake Valmont (Hugo Weaving), who is the sexual equivalent of a guerilla. But the master strategist is his ex-lover Merteuil (Pamela Rabe), who plays her cards very close to her breasts. The young lovers they manipulate like pawns, under the guise of assistance and training, are the novice Cécile (Geraldine Hakewill) and the space cadet Danceny (James Mackay)… The small semi-circular theatre of Wharf 1 helps build intimacy (perhaps even complicity) with the audience; a larger venue would have returned more revenue but at an artistic loss… The twin necessities of translating from page to stage and from French to English proved a fertile mother of invention; Hampton invented a remarkable language with the complex syntax of 18th century French over a contemporary vocabulary from our present age of international English. The text combines the wit of Wilde for its comedy and the bite of Albee for its tragedy. In the mouth of a mediocre actor such long sentences could be confusing and cumbersome; in the deep and perfectly modulated voices of Rabe and Weaving they are a delight to hear and a pleasure to interpret.”
Justine Clarke with Hugo Weaving (in mirror)
ArtsHub: ” “With his fabulous cast and excellent creative team, director Sam Strong brings us a magnificent production – fluid, almost conematic – that enthralls, horrifies and has you on the edge of your seat. De Laclos’ book, upon which Hampton’s play is based, was first published in 1782. The play, full of ironic, almost Wildean wit, was written in 1985… Pamela Rabe as the ruthless Marquise is magnificent, thrillingly cruel and powerful, elegant and poised in her silver bobbed hair. As the satyr-like and charming but aging rake, the Vicomte, Hugo Weaving is superb: hypnotic and devilishly desirable, an aristocratic Don Juan…. Only rarely are you able to see such an intricate, multi-layered production featuring such fine acting from the entire ensemble.”
PagesDigital: “I’m partial to negative reviews. Purges the body and all that. Unfortunately, Sydney Theatre Company’s Les Liaisans Dangereuses gives me nothing to work with. The play, which was penned by Christopher Hampton in 1984, and is based on the 18th century scratchings of Choderlos de Laclos, is disappointingly brilliant and troublingly good. It is a lavish and engaging exploration of the libertine excess of pre-revolutionary France, performed by an unobligingly incredible cast that includes the likes of Hugo Weaving, Pamela Rabe and Heather Mitchell…. Hugo Weaving has been well cast as the plays philandering, scheming, misogynist Viscomte de Valmont. His performance delivers much of the energy, charm and humour of the production. His accomplice, played by Pamela Rabe, is similarly striking as the caustic and manipulative Marquise de Merteuil…. Hampton’s script is witty, honest and fresh, blending a modern accessible style with 18th century syntax. The stage is similarly well put together with the entirety of the drama unfolding within a single room of the house. This, and the theatre’s limited seating, make for an intimate setting.Les Liaisons Dangereuses will be showing at Sydney Theatre Company’s wharf theatre until 9 June 2012.Get involved.” (Wonderfully cheeky, and further proof Australian critics don’t just hand out accolades.) 😉
Finally, there’s a bit more about Hugo’s Best Supporting Actor win at the Film Critics’ Circle of Australia Awards at Screen Daily.