Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Sydney Theatre Company

Earlier this week I caught the hot new production at the Sydney Theatre Company, Les Liaisons Dangereuses. It was, as all the reviews say, excellent.

The literati may know this story from its original 18th-century French novel. Many people my age will know it from the mid-’80s film version. The younger may know the outline of the story as it was adapted in the 1999 film Cruel Intentions (though you lose the underlying theme of the moral degeneracy of pre-revolutionary French aristocrats).

This play was tops. It’s sexy, thrilling, funny, and labyrithine. The main actors dominate, though all are good. Hugo Weaving as Victome de Valmont gets to chew things up. He’s so good that by the end of the play I was so longer mentally inserting the words, “Mr. Anderson,” at the end of every sentence.

It’s showing at Wharf 1, which is not the biggest theatre, so you’re very close to the action. The costumes are just right: retro ’50s/’60s, enough to make you think of times past, but not stuffy period clothing. The way that they stage the duel scene is both imaginative and effective.

The play is still on until June 9th, though getting tickets will be hard. There are a couple of matinees with single seats, possibly.


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