If this email does not display properly, please see our website phoenixtheatres.ca

BackstagePASS >Update

Les Liaisons Dangereuses has been met with rave reviews — called "a bona fide coup!" by the local reviewers. Read more below or watch the official video trailer! The play continues until November 26, but don't miss this Friday's lecture:

Pre-show Lecture
Friday November 18 at 7pm
Director Fran Gebhard and Costume Designer Graham McMonagle in conversation about the collaborative creative process of developing Les Liaisons Dangereuses. (If you can't make it in person, note that this lecture will be recorded and the audio posted on our website next week.)


In the press:
Reviews of Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Times Colonist:
Highlights from the review
by Adrian Chamberlain
Posted Nov. 12, 2016

"This visually splendid University of Victoria theatre department production is a bona fide coup for the creative team.

Director Fran Gebhard ... [has] put tremendous emphasis on the physical — all the actors move with utmost decorum, holding their arms just so, flipping the tails of jackets with the greatest of elegance. Even the footmen moving furniture between scenes conduct themselves with military precision.

The play’s look is exquisitely pale and beautiful... Graham McMonagle’s 18th-century costumes are detailed and lovely. Barbara Clerihue’s subtly lit set is simple and sophisticated, with a blanched wood stage and a single grand chandelier.

Aidan Correia was able to convey Valmont’s affected grace and the emotions fermenting underneath, including the genuine love he develops for Tourvel. This switch of affections is devastating to Merteuil, played in a pleasing contained manner by Adriana Marchand.

Emma Grabinsky captured Cécile’s unaffected lustiness, while Pascal Lamothe-Kipnes did a clever job of making Tourvel — a two-dimensional role — into a fully fleshed out character. And the promising Julien Bruce found welcome comic moments as Le Chevalier Danceny."

CBC On the Island:
Highlights of the radio review by David Lennam
Aired November 14 (not yet posted online)

"This is a great production...It looks good, it sounds good, and the heightened reality, the hyper-staged reality of it all, the diction, the reserve of emotion, the plotting. Wow."

Kudos to director Fran Gebhard, set designer Barbara Clerihue, and costume designer Graham McMonagle.

... But let’s reserve the bulk of the praise to an outstanding cast of young university actors who have the audacity to think they know enough about love — and dangerous love at that — to so beautifully pull this off like they were seasoned courtiers schooled in Machiavellian deviousness. ... That they are not much more than kids makes their ability to command these difficult, emotionally mature roles that much more remarkable.

Director Gebhard has put in some fine work fine-tuning their relationship, honing it to an icy, ugly sensuality that can only end badly.

Exquisite. Like a dessert that has so many calories you know it’s going to kill you, but you eat it anyway."

Janis La Couvée.com
Highlights of the review by Theatre blogger Janis La Couvée
Posted Nov. 10, 2016

"Les Liaisons Dangeureuses is a surprisingly relevant and brilliant set piece that comes to life under the inspired direction of director Gebhard; throughout the emphasis is on language — its implications, nuances and deliberate capacity to beguile and wound and gesture.

In the seemingly limitless space of the Chief Dan George Theatre... lighting [plays] enticingly upon surfaces (Eryn Griffith)... By focusing on a small selection of furniture pieces... set designer Barbara Clerihue allows the focus to remain firmly on the actors. 

Adriana Marchand is an absolute revelation — in her first Mainstage Phoenix production, she exhibits a clear and authoritative command of the stage with a vocal quality that entices and entrances.

...Lamothe-Kipnes succeeds remarkably at conveying fragility with a core of steel as she refuses to submit to the Vicomte’s advances, and then dissolves in a frightened and despairing heap when the inevitable happens. Correia’s Valmont possesses a deep current of danger, kept barely in check — waiting to erupt.

...Emma Grabinsky is kittenish in her devotion to Le Chevalier Danceny (Julien Bruce) her tutor and in her nascent carnal desire for Valmont...

Bruce portrays Danceny as a carefully mannered young man who falls under the spell of Merteuil as her latest plaything—then drawing upon a deep sense of morality to avenge the honour of Cécile, firm is the justness of his cause.

Mme. De Rosemonde (Alexa D’Archangelo) and Mme. DeVolanges (Jessie Johnston) round out the ranks of the nobility with their sense of propriety and predilection for meddling. These young actors rely on movement and posture to convey the age of much older women; their inane action providing notes of humour."

Camosun Nexus Review
Highlights of the review by Quinn Hiebert
Posted November 14, 2016

"The love affair started the moment I walked into the University of Victoria’s Phoenix Theatre and saw the set; my heart broke the moment Les Liaisons Dangereuses ended.

Le Vicomte de Valmont, played by Aidan Correia, is a recognizable fiend that is very prevalent, even today. I love to hate absolutely everything about him.

But there is nothing but love for La Marquise de Merteuil, played by Adriana Marchand. Even when she is conniving and cruel, she states the reasons why concisely and powerfully, leaving no doubts as to what it’s like to be a woman in a man’s world.


The set was also stunning.
A chandelier hangs from the ceiling; the floorboards—worn and white—match the distressed furniture. The curtains drape in a way that begs to be touched, and I loved the moment they floated to the floor.

I’ve never seen a production that so closely resembled a dance. I highly recommend seeing Les Liaisons Dangereuses; it’s so good that I intend to go to it again."


Phoenix Phacts:

Wow! What a party!
The Department of Theatre hosted a weekend-long Alumni Reunion in celebration of our 50th Anniversary, November 11-13. Over 200 theatre alumni and their family members, as well as current and previous faculty and staff members gathered to reconnect. Alumni from graduating classes as early as 1967 (from the English Department's Theatre program) to recent grads from 2016 participated in a Mix and Mingle, a Decade by Decade lunch with photo sessions (see photo above), and a dinner dance. The weekend finished with a refreshing walk/run around the Alumni Trail (accompanied by a bit of rain), followed by brunch and fond farewells. The department thanks iA Financial Group and the UVic Alumni Association for helping make this weekend a great success!

In other alumni news this fall...

Upcoming at the Belfry Theatre for the holiday season is the world premiere of a new play with book and lyrics by alumna Erin Macklem and music and lyrics by local musician Brad L’Écuyer. This Little Light is a brand new musical play, written specifically for Victoria and Fernwood, featuring members of the Canadian College of Performing Arts’ Company C Studio Ensemble, local school choirs and other special guests. It runs from December 10—23, 2016.

Theatre and writing double alumnus Mark Leiren-Young has written a new book that has been on most literary charts this fall. The book, entitled The Killer Whale Who Changed the World is about the the capture of a young killer whale off the west coast who was then displayed to the public in 1964. Killer whales had always been seen as bloodthirsty sea monsters up to this time. This all changed when Moby Doll—as the whale became known—was an instant celebrity, drawing twenty thousand visitors on the one and only day he was exhibited. He died within a few months, but his famous gentleness sparked a worldwide crusade that transformed how people understood and appreciated orcas — we stopped fearing “killers” and grew to love and respect “orcas.” Read an interview with Mark in the Tyee online journal, that also features original video footage of the whale's capture. The book was published in partnership with the David Suzuki Institute. Read the Maclean's Magazine review here. Congrats on the great success of this interesting story Mark!

More Production Photos!

The photos from this show are amazing, thanks to our photographer David Lowes. We've posted a larger selection of Les Liaisons Dangereuses images on our Phoenix Theatre Facebook site. Click by and see some more! (And while you're there, LIKE our page to see when new information is posted!)

Phoenix eNews is a regular email magazine for those interested in the Phoenix Theatre, the not-for-profit productions at the University of Victoria's Department of Theatre, PO Box 1700, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 2Y2 Canada. The University of Victoria is a Registered Charity. Charitable Registration No. 10816 2470 RR0001

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, click here and enter your address and click Un-Subscribe. A confirmation message will be emailed to you. You can reply to this message to confirm that you want to be removed from this mailing list. This message also has a link that you can click on to complete the removal process.

  © University of Victoria 2010