Don’t miss Les Liaisons Dangeureuses at UVic Phoenix Theatre
You probably don’t know this about me, but before I was accepted into the Recreation and Health Education Program, I used to be a theatre student here at UVic. I spent my first two years of school at the Phoenix Theatre, which was arguably one of the most engaging, challenging, crazy, and creative two years of my life.
I learned a LOT about myself in that building, and I spent a LOT of time with the incredibly creative, and yes quite wacky people who were also in that building. Some of my most treasured memories were formed at the Phoenix — whether it was dangling from the ceiling of the theatre hanging lights, acting in the hallways between classes, or building massive sets for upcoming shows.
On Saturday night, I went back to the Phoenix to see their latest show, Les Liasons Dangereuses. It was a story of deceit, betrayal, love and revenge…a deliciously juicy study break that transported me back to the courts of 18th century Paris, into the cruel and lustful grip of a group of rich, bored and shameless members of the French aristocracy.
Le Vicomte de Valmont (played by my extremely talented old classmate, Aidan Correia) was a dashing, wily, and irresistible man who was determined to seduce any woman he set his sights on…the more challenging the better. His opponent, seductress and old lover was La Marquise de Merteuil, played by Adriana Marchand.
Never have I seen a more powerful stage presence than the one that radiated off of Adriana. A student who is probably younger than I am, Adriana commanded every inch of the theatre from the moment she walked onstage. I shuddered at her cruelty, marveled at her cunning and incredible intelligence, and inwardly cheered her on as she absolutely owned the “man’s world” she was supposed to be so obediently and quietly living in. The two co-stars effortlessly waltzed through the tangled story, buoyed by a dazzling and somewhat zany cast.
On another note, if you’re into fashion or costumes, the show is an absolute must see. I could hardly decide where to look as wigs, bustles, coattails, ruffles and achingly delicate fabrics whirled across the stage. Graham McMonagle’s costume design and construction was impeccable, and I can’t even begin to imagine how much time and effort went into each costume piece.
The show was the perfect combination of scandal, humour, intelligence and, well…juicy gossip. Who doesn’t love that? Oh! And the most impressive stage fighting I have ever seen in live theatre. I don’t know how they managed to choreograph that sword fight, but I believed every second of it.
In short, if you have a free evening this week, I would highly recommend going to see Les Liasons Dangereuses. Director Fran Gebhard has outdone herself (as per usual) and you’ll be so wrapped up in the hot and breathy story that you’ll forget about that final paper that’s coming up…for a few hours at least.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
University of Victoria Phoenix Theatre
November 10–26, 2016
Tickets: $15-$26 in person, or charge by phone: 250-721-8000