This was an excellent production. The adaptation by writer Christopher Hampton and director Sam Strong is flexible, running an epistolary novel into a series of salon scenes. The tone is at once witty and tragic. The design was restrained, refined, modernist and seductive. The setting is vague, letters and Bach and candles along with Jazz music and pistols. The sword fight became an incredibly tense game of Russian roulette.
Hugo Weaving was intimidatingly charming as an eloquent, mobile Valmont. Pamela Rabe was elegant, terrifying and sympathetic, which is exactly what I want from Merteuil. Their accents were odd: there were brief moments of French interspersed with an assortment of undefinable round vowels and clipped consonants. The actors were engaging enough that the accents weren’t a serious distraction. The kid playing Danceny could have been better, but I suppose one can’t have everything.