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Theatre Aurora’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses

January 23, 2020   ·   0 Comments

A Review by Scott Johnston

Theatre Aurora continues this season’s theme of “The Furious Five” with the drama “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”.

Adapted by Christopher Hampton from the novel written in 1782, it is a tale of psychological and sexual manipulation.

La Marquise de Merteuil (played by Jessica Ducharme) and Le Vicomte de Valmont (Dan Bowers), two former lovers in Paris, are masters in the art of seduction, toying with the feelings and relationships of others for their own cruel enjoyment.

In their latest twisted wager, they target the married Madame de Tourvel (Kirsty Campbell), whose husband is away from the country for an extended time.  They also sets their sights on the innocent young Cecile de Volanges (Shannon Shura), who is mutually in love with her music teacher Le Chevalier Danceny (Andrew Sanjay Pawarroo).

The two schemers work their way into their targets’ lives, giving the appearance of being friends and confidents with the best of intentions, while playing their mind games.

As the play continues, Merteuil and Vicomte gleefully relish their successes, while looking for opportunities to gain the upper hand over the each other.  But each is also impacted by events in ways they do not expect.

And in such a perverse, succeed at all costs game as this, can anyone actually win?

Director Jason Silzer has an excellent cast to bring this story to life.

The acting is first rate, especially the two leads (Jessica Ducharme and Dan Bowers).   Oozing predatory confidence, they capture your attention every time they are on stage, and provide as much information through their movements and facial expressions as they do through their dialog.

Kirsty Campbell, Shannon Shura and Andrew Pawarroo are great as well, as are supporting players Maria Elena Puigbonet as Madame de Volanges, George Khajouian as Azolan, Christine Fraser as Emilie, Mickey Brown as Madame de Rosemonde and Tim Gernstein as various servants.

Although set in France 200 years ago, the costumes consist of contemporary clothing.  The set itself is simple, but effective, allowing for rapid scene changes. 

Both of these factors shift attention away from this being just a period piece, and allow one to focus on the well written script and acting.

With this play, Theatre Aurora has given us a strongly performed and very entertaining play with many twists and turns. Excellent local entertainment for a cold winter’s night.

Evening performances of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” continue at Theatre Aurora, 150 Henderson Drive, January 23, 24, 25, 30, 31 and February 1, with a matinee on January 26.  Tickets are available through the box office at 905-727-3669.



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