The Marquise de Merteuil has been abandoned by her current lover for Cécile de Volanges, an innocent girl of fifteen who has just finished her convent-school education. Merteuil wants revenge. The Vicomte de Valmont, her former lover, has the reputation of an irresistible seducer and lover. The perfect weapon, or so it would appear.
Because the Marquise and the Vicomte are soul-mates, bound by a strong erotic and destructive connection. They are both gamblers who don’t comply with moral – never mind sexual – norms and lead accordingly excessive lives. Valmont, for his part, is currently on a different crusade: the seduction of the exceedingly virtuous Madame de Tourvel. How convenient that both women are currently guests at the same country-side palace. Leaving the Marquise full rein in the city…
So it would seem that “Gefährliche Liebschaften (Dangerous Liasons)” is initially the story of these two intrigues, the planned seductions of the innocent Cécile and the faithful Madame de Tourvel. But ultimately, the schemers Merteuil and Valmont get caught up in the snares of their own cabals, as fool-proof as they may have thought them. Because: What happens when the weapons of love and longing are turned against the shooters?
Pierre-Ambroise-François Choderlos de Laclos’ epistolary novel from the year 1782 is seen as a major work of French literature, entirely dedicated to the topics of seduction and the lack of morals and ethics among the so-called better parts of society prior to the outbreak of the French Revolution. Choderlos de Laclos renders an expert analysis of the mechanisms of pretence between the extremes of cold calculation and true emotion. Perfect material for an thrilling evening of summer theatre, which provides not only classic acting roles and poetry, but also – in keeping with the protagonists’ calamitous game of love – a great deal of frisson.
Director Markus Bothe studied Musical Theatre Directing in Hamburg. He has staged both operas and plays at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Schauspiel Frankfurt, Volksoper Wien, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Schauspiel Graz, Konzert Theater Bern, and Nationaltheater Weimar, including numerous world premieres and German-language premieres. His production “Roter Ritter Parzival” at Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg received the 2010 DER FAUST theatre award in the category of theatre for children and young people. Beside his work as a director, he was festival director and a member of the artistic team of the theatre biennial “New Plays from Europe” at Staatstheater Wiesbaden from 2004 to 2008.