Dangerous Liaisons

Assembly House, Norwich

> Assembly House, Norwich

Dangerous Liaisons. The name says it all. This is comedy and drama which should be played on a knife's edge - precision acting at its most demanding.

Nowhere do I think that writer Christopher Hampton's definition of the play as a tightly knit argument working its way out is more in evidence.

The film, with John Malkovich as the Vicomte and Glenn Close as the Marquise, had incredible pace, as I recall. Right from the very beginning, we knew that little Cecile would be seduced by the wicked Vicomte, and as soon as he had uttered her name we knew that the excessively moral Madame Tourvel would fall to his desires.

But it was watching the schemes rapidly unfold which held us bewitched.

On its first night at the Assembly House, the Great Hall players were perhaps a little tentative. Frankie Sheppeck was a magisterial Marquise, but was not yet smouldering; Vernon Brooks as the Vicomte had all the self conceit of the serial seducer, but was not yet the rake.

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It will be interesting to see how the show develops. I have no doubt that, by the end of the run, the passions will be raising the roof.

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