The Vicomte de Valmont (Aidan Correia) begs with for the married Madame de Tourvel (Pascal Lamothe-Kipnes) to listen to his words of love in the English play by Christopher Hampton, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, running at the Phoenix Theatre at UVic until November 26.

How to win, love or die in the 18th Century

Director Fran Gebhard directs her favourite play to mark the Phoenix Theatre’s 50th anniversary.

Underneath gorgeous layers of silk, taffeta, gauze and lace stockings lie the vengeful schemes of the aristocrats of a dying Empire.

To the rich and bored, seduction becomes a sport – and sex is a weapon.

Fran Gebhard directs her all-time favourite play, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, written by acclaimed playwright Christopher Hampton, who adapted his own play for the 1988 Oscar-winning film, Dangerous Liaisons.

Running from Nov. 10 to 26, this is the first mainstage show of the Phoenix Theatre’s 50th Anniversary Season.Set in pre-revolutionary France and based on the 1782 epistolary novel by Choderlos de Laclos, the story centres around the wealthy widow the Marquise de Merteuil and her social manipulations.

She challenges her former lover the Vicomte de Valmont to prove his seductive powers by playing games at the expense of their lovers’ reputations.Merteuil is always a step ahead and never reveals her true motives in this game of lust and manipulation.

“Christopher Hampton’s work is beautifully written, poetic. It’s like contemporary Shakespeare and offers our students a challenge, with compelling characters that present us with multiple facades which create complex relationships that our actors have to mine. It also gives our design students a sumptuous time period to explore,“ says Gebhard.Gebhard’s vision of Les Liaisons Dangereuses attempts to pull back the layers on these façades.

The opening of Les Liaisons Dangereuses also marks the beginning of the Department’s 50th Anniversary Alumni Reunion weekend, from Nov. 11 to 13. All UVic Theatre alumni are invited to come reminisce with old friends, faculty and staff over a weekend of various events.

Details at www.phoenixtheatres.ca

Public Previews at 8 p.m.: Nov. 8 & 9Evenings  at 8 p.m.: (Tuesdays – Saturdays) Nov. 10 (opening), 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18 (preshow lecture), 19, 22, 23 24, 25, 26

Matinee at 2 p.m.:  Nov. 26

Single Tickets: $15 Student, $20 Senior, $25 Adult, $26 Weekends at 8 p.m.

 

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