(Matt Wolf’s article appeared in The New York Times, 12/15; via Pam Green.)
LONDON — “Cruelty,” purrs Janet McTeer, the scintillating epicenter of an unbalanced revival of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” that opened last week at the Donmar Warehouse here. And with a single word, the ever-vibrant actress makes an aphrodisiac out of malevolence.
So long as Ms. McTeer is center stage as the Marquise de Merteuil, one of a pair of sexually devious power players in 18th-century France, all is right with this portrait of the haut monde heedlessly gliding its way toward the guillotine.
Imposing of stature and sinuous of speech, Ms. McTeer lends a flickering allure to Josie Rourke’s production of Christopher Hampton’s 1985 play that stormed Broadway two years later. A 1988 film won Mr. Hampton an Oscar for his screenplay, which like the play was adapted from the 1782 epistolary novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.