Les Liaisons Dangereuses
 by Christopher Hampton
 Stetson University Stover Theatre
 April 1999

Set in the mid 1780s (on the eve of the French Revolution), Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a compelling drama based on the novel of Choderlos de Laclos where sexual game-playing is elevated to a vindictive art. It is the original stage play from which at least three film versions have been adapted.

The main thrust of the play's plot concerns Valmont's efforts to seduce the married and very beautiful Mme. de Tourvel, who is the very model of virtue and morality. Unfortunately for Valmont, in his long and difficult courtship, he falls truly in love with her. When Merteuil discovers Valmont's genuine love for another woman besides herself, she is moved to seek revenge for what she sees as a betrayal.

This play, written in 1985 and set in the late 1780s, was chosen to give students experience in working with "period style" (costume, makeup, movement, etc.) while making the style accessible to them through contemporary writing. (It was often stated in rehearsal that the play was more about the 1980s than the 1780s).

There was also a sword duel of significant length that required some specialized training. The production was coordinated with the Acting III course, which covered Restoration period/Comedy of Manners style.

Review from the student newspaper

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Copyright 2003 by Ken McCoy.