Theater Review: ISU Theater presents “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”


Le Victome de Valmont (left) and La Marquise de Meurteuil (right) discuss their plans of seduction and revenge. Additional showings will be held at 7:30p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Megan Gilbert

ISU Theater hosted the opening night of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” Friday night at Fisher Theater.

Attendees scurry to their seats as the lights go down on the audience and the stage lights come up to reveal an extravagant set, something that might be found in a French château. 

“Les Liaisons Dangereuses” is based on the French novel published in 1782 by Choderlos de Laclos. The play focuses on themes of seduction and revenge, while also touching on love and affection.

The main characters, La Marquise de Merteuil, played by Taylor Millar, and Le Victome de Valmont, played by Michael Clinkscales, are in a constant game of truth or dare, challenging the other to seduce members of the French aristocracy. The former couple holds nothing back when discussing the details of their undertakings.

Although the play has dramatic moments of passion, they are carried out in an almost comical manner, often eliciting laughter from the crowd.

From the language usage to the costume and set designs, “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” is very detailed. There is often a deeper meaning behind the dialogue, which moves quickly and keeps the audience at attention.

In his role as the Victome, Clinkscales is outstanding. Through soft smiles, he communicates with the audience that his plans of seduction and ruin are working, and his interactions with other characters on stage are nothing short of dramatic.

Clinkscales’ exchanges with Millar on stage communicate the Victome’s love and respect for the Marquise.

“He just finds her fabulously interesting,” Clinkscales said of his character.

As the play develops, various plot twists lead the Victome and the Marquise to reveal that their games of seduction and revenge are not working in unison but rather against each other, each step of the way.

Additional performances of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” will run at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, and at 2 p.m. on March 6 in Fisher Theater.

Tickets are available through the Iowa State Center Ticket Office and via Ticketmaster.