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Dangerous Liaisons given a risqué revamp


Preview by Paul Nelson

A NEW translation of Les Liaisons Dangereuse, by Dominic Druce, is to be presented at the Pentameters Theatre by Compagnie Sublime.

The play is described as a risqué revamp of the French novel by Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderlos de Laclos, a military man, who is famous in French literature through this one novel.

The original story deals with Marquise de Montreuil and Vicomte de Valmont, two people totally incapable of admitting that they love each other and who spend their lives destroying others.

Madame Montreuil sets Louis Valmont a challenge too tempting to ignore. A virtuoso of deceit, Valmont captures the hearts of every honourable woman he meets.

Their downfall comes with an attempt to seduce a young ingénue and an older woman. The scheme falls apart with Valmont actually falling in love himself, not with the ingénue but with the older woman. It is a satisfyingly complex piece.

In a bold and dashing translation, Dangerous Liaisons explores the delicate balance of love and obsession, duets and duels.

Thirty years after the sexual liberation, Compagnie Sublime tests the certainty of our sexual values. Just when you thought you knew everything there was to learn about the opposite sex, here comes a piece of theatre to tease your imagination…

Compagnie Sublime is a young company who brought Le Jeu de L'amour et du Hasard (Love is a Game of Chance) to London from the café theatres of Paris.

Compagnie Sublime grew out of 'Les Rencontres du Lundi Soir' in Paris during 2000 where cutting edge theatre practitioners met every Monday to thrash out new and innovative ideas.

Trained at Central School of Speech and Drama, and at Raymond Girard and Jacques Le Coq, founders Emily Hobbs and Camilla Mathias produced and starred in Genet's Les Bonnes and Ionesco's La Cantatrice Chauvre.

Following the storming of Paris and its environs, the company set its sights on London. They are fresh and diverse and create new stage translations of French plays and novels. Dangerous Liaisons is the second of a planned trilogy of pieces concerning passion.

Well known as an actor on both screen and stage, Martin Cort directs this innovative young company.

It is a company of 10, headed by Emily Hobbs and Camilla Mathias (pictured), and it includes Robert Armes, Rowan Brooks, Elaine Coxall, Adrian Reilly, Wendy Windle, Tessa Gallagher, Morvern Macbeth and Leo Faulkner.

This production will be the anniversary production at Pentameters Theatre, Hampstead, founded in 1968 by Leoné Scott-Matthews.

Now in its 35th year, the theatre is one of the oldest of the fringe venues in London. It has been and remains a stunning platform for new writing, classical revivals, poetry readings, musicals and comedy nights.

Over the years it has been host to many luminaries of the stage, including: Harold Pinter, Kingsley Amis, Alexi Sayle, Pamela Stevenson, Nigel Havers, Rik Mayall, French and Saunders; and poets such as Ted Hughes, Stevie Smith, Stephen Spender, and William Empson.

Dangerous Liaisons will be the show to mark the Pentameters 35th year and to break the champagne bottle over for the next 35 years …

Dangerous Liaisons by de Laclos, in a new translation by Dominic Druce, Directed by Martin Cort. WITH: Emily Hobbs, Camilla Mathias, Robert Armes, Rowan Brooks, Elaine Coxall, Adrian Reilly, Wendy Windle, Tessa Gallagher, Morvern Macbeth and Leo Faulkner. Presented by Campagnie Sublime at the Pentameters Theatre, The Three Horseshoes, Heath Road, Hampstead NW3 from May 20 to June 8 at 8pm, Sunday 5pm. Tickets 020 7435 3648

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