Prepare for a 'fiercely physical' production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Maltings in St Albans
- Credit: Elliott Franks
Theatre company OVO returns to the Maltings stage next month with a "fiercely physical production" of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
The Maltings Theatre, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary under the artistic directorship of Adam Nichols and his company OVO, continues its highly entertaining autumn season programme this week with Fake News.
Written and performed by Osman Baig, it can be seen in St Albans from Thursday, September 30 to Saturday, October 2.
OVO then takes to the stage with its adaptation of Christopher Hampton's play Les Liaisons Dangereuses, from Tuesday, October 12 to Saturday, October 23.
This will be followed by feminist drama Vinegar Tom from October 28 to November 6 and then Hedda Gabler, which runs from November 16 to 27.
Director Adam Nichols said: “I'm very proud of our blistering autumn programme. We opened on September 7 with Rebecca Vaughan in A Room of One’s Own, which was followed by Charles Court Opera and their very funny production of The Mikado.
“I'm delighted to present Osman Baig and his 5* one-man show, Fake News, from September 30 to October 2, after its run at the Bridge Theatre in London.
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"OVO’s own productions kick off on October 12 when I shall be directing a fiercely physical production of Christopher Hampton’s gripping tale of class, sex and scandal, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, with live music."
Alternately shocking, seductive and hilarious, two former lovers come together in pre-revolutionary France to corrupt the innocent and the virtuous for selfish kicks and fresh sexual conquests. But when they turn on each other, it’s win or die…
Director Adam Nichols said: “I got to know the play through the 1988 Oscar-winning film starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich.
"I thought it was hilarious funny and sexy of course – my 14-year-old self had a major crush on Michelle Pfeiffer – but I was also fascinated by the darkness and brutality of the two lead characters who, despite their love for each other, ultimately destroy one another.
“Coming back to the play in the post-#metoo era, it’s amazing how, if anything, it has become even more resonant as we consider the issues of gender and consent in a 21st century context."
Based on the novel by Choderlos de Laclos, the play will star Emma Wright as La Marquise de Merteuil and Guido Garcia Lueches as Le Vicomte de Valmont, the role played by John Malkovich in the film.
Adam addeds: “Christopher Hampton was one of the first dramatists to present historical characters and situations in a modern idiom.
"This approach is now pretty standard – from Wolf Hall to Bridgerton – so we’re sticking with the modernity of his wonderfully engaging and witty dialogue while presenting an authentic period look and feel to evoke the 18th century atmosphere of pre-revolutionary France.
"We are presenting all three of our OVO productions in the round and for Les Liaisons Dangereuses this means that the audience really will be up close and personal to experience the machinations and unpleasant activities of the scheming Merteuil and Valmont.
“We’ll have a live string quartet and several scenes will be choreographed to modern songs but in the traditional French court style.
"I think Maltings audiences will really enjoy the way in which we’re exploiting the intimacy of the theatre so that they’ll feel completely involved as well as intrigued and entertained by our signature combination of comedy and music combined with a dark edge and a contemporary message.”
Visit ovo.org.uk to book tickets for forthcoming shows.