The Donmar announces full principal casting for the final production of the 2015 autumn season, Artistic Director Josie Rourke’s production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Christopher Hampton’s stage adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 novel. In addition to the previously announced Michelle Dockery, Janet McTeer and Dominic West, the production will feature Adjoa Andoh, Theo Barklem-Biggs, Morfydd Clark, Edward Holcroft, Jennifer Saayeng and Una Stubbs.
In 1782, Choderlos de Laclos’ novel of sex, intrigue and betrayal in pre-revolutionary France scandalised the world. Two hundred years later, Christopher Hampton’s irresistible adaptation swept the board, winning the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Play. Josie Rourke’s production will now mark the plays’ thirty-year revival.
Former lovers, the Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont now compete in games of seduction and revenge. Merteuil incites Valmont to corrupt the innocent Cécile Volanges before her wedding night but Valmont has targeted the peerlessly virtuous and beautiful Madame de Tourvel. While these merciless aristocrats toy with others’ hearts and reputations, their own may prove more fragile than they supposed.
Christopher Hampton (Writer) is a prolific playwright, screenwriter and director. As well as writing the stage play Les Liaisons Dangereuses, he also wrote the screenplay for the 1988 film adaptation Dangerous Liaisons starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. More recently Christopher adapted Ian McEwan’s Atonement for the screen, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Christopher wrote his first play, When Did You Last See My Mother? while at Oxford University. It was subsequently performed at the Royal Court, before transferring to the Comedy Theatre in 1966. He then went on to become the Resident Dramatist and literary manager at the Royal Court from 1968 to 1970. Christopher’s plays The Philanthropist and Tales From Hollywood have both been performed at the Donmar and his other plays include Total Eclipse, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, The Talking Cure and Appomattox. Christopher has written the book and lyrics for several successful musicals including Sunset Boulevard and Stephen Ward with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black, and musical adaptations of Dracula and Rebecca. Screenplays include A Doll’s House, Beyond the Limit, The Wolf at the Door, Total Eclipse, The Secret Agent, The Quiet American, Sunset Boulevard, A Dangerous Method and Ali and Nino.
Josie Rourke (Director) is Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse where she has directed The Recruiting Officer,The Physicists, Berenice, The Weir (which transferred to Wyndham’s Theatre), Privacy, City of Angels (Olivier Award Winner – Best Musical Revival) and The Vote broadcast live on More4 on the night of the General Election 2015 to an audience of over half a million. In 2013 she directedThe Machine, a new play by Matt Charman, as part of the Manchester International Festival, which also played at Park Avenue Armory, New York. Rourke trained at the Donmar, under Sam Mendes, through the theatre’s annual Resident Assistant Director scheme. Prior to the Donmar, she was Artistic Director at the Bush Theatre, London, from 2007 to 2011, where she directed and programmed the work of (amongst other playwrights) James Graham, Lucy Kirkwood, Nancy Harris, Nick Payne, Jack Thorne and Steve Waters. Her 2010 production of Men Should Weep by Ena Lamont Stewart ran in the Lyttelton at the National Theatre. In 2011 her production of Much Ado About Nothing, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, ran in the West End at Wyndham’s Theatre and received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Revival.
Adjoa Andoh (Madame de Volanges) makes her Donmar debut in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Adjoa is currently rehearsing A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes (Tricycle), and her other theatre credits include, for the National Theatre, His Dark Materials, The Revenger’s Tragedy, Stuff Happens and Or You Could Kiss Me (also Handspring Theatre). For the RSC, Adjoa has appeared in Tamburlaine, The Odyssey, Crowned with Fame, Julius Caesar(also Noel Coward and BAM, New York). Other stage credits include Breath Boom and Sugar Mummies (Royal Court), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, In The Red And Brown Water and The Snow Queen (Young Vic), The Dispute, Pericles and Nights at the Circus (Lyric Hammersmith), Glory (Lyric/Derby Playhouse/West Yorkshire Playhouse), Our Day Out (Birmingham Repertory), Death CatchesThe Hunter (Traverse), and Great Expectations(Bristol Old Vic). Further theatre credits include The Vagina Monologues (Old Vic), Blood Wedding(Almeida), Purgatorio (Arcola), Starstruck (Tricycle) and Lear’s Daughters and Princhdice And Co (Women’s Theatre Group). Adjoa’s television credits include Line of Duty, New Tricks, River, Cucumber, Broadchurch and The Interceptor. Adjoa has also recently appeared in the films Remainder, Julius Caesar, Adulthood and Invictus.
Theo Barklem-Biggs (Azolan)makes his Donmar debut in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Theo has performed on stage previously in Chapel Street (Bush). He has appeared in a number of television productions including Ballot Monkeys, Tatau, Crims, The Interceptor, Silk, Miranda and Silent Witness. Theo’s film credits include Kingsman: The Secret Service, Hammer of the Gods, Keith Lemon – The Film, The Man Inside, Borrowed Time and The Inbetweeners Movie.
Morfydd Clark (Cécile Volanges)makes her Donmar debut in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. She is currently rehearsing for Romeo & Juliet (Crucible, Sheffield), and other theatre credits include Violence and Son (Royal Court), Blodeuwedd (Genedlaethol Cymru) and No Other Day Like Today (National Youth Theatre Wales). Television credits include Arthur & George, A Poet in New York and New Worlds. Film credits include The Call Up, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Falling and Madame Bovary.
Michelle Dockery (Madame de Tourvel) makes her Donmar debut in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Michelle is best known for starring as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey, for which she has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award, as well as a SAG and TV Choice Award. Michelle’s other recent television includes Restless, Henry IV Parts I & II, The Turn of the Screw, Cranford, Waking the Dead, Poppy Shakespeare, Dalziel & Pascoe and Fingersmith. Theatre credits include Hamlet (Crucible, Sheffield), Uncle Vanya (English Touring Theatre) and Dying for It (Almeida). Michelle starred as Eliza in Peter Hall’s acclaimed production of Pygmalion at the Old Vic, Bath Theatre Royal and on tour, for which she received an Evening Standard Award nomination for Best Newcomer and an Ian Charleson Award nomination. For the National Theatre Michelle has appeared in Burnt by the Sun (Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress), Pillars of the Community (Ian Charleson Award nomination), The UN Inspector, Henry IV Parts I & II and His Dark Materials. Michelle’s film credits include Non-Stop, Anna Karenina, Hanna and Shades of Beige.
Edward Holcroft (Le Chevalier Danceny) makes his Donmar debut in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Edward’s film credits include Kingsman: The Secret Service and Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters.
Janet McTeer (La Marquise de Merteuil) returns to the Donmar after starring opposite Harriet Walter in Donmar Associate Director Phyllida Lloyd’s Mary Stuart in 2005. Janet reprised the role of Mary Stuart when the Donmar’s production was taken to New York in 2009, earning her the Drama Desk Award for Best Actress. Janet is a Tony, Olivier and Drama Desk Award-winner, as well as a two-time Academy Award-nominee, and in 2008 she was awarded an OBE. Janet has numerous stage, television and film credits, including The Grace of Mary Traverse (Royal Court), A Doll’s House (Playhouse), Uncle Vanya (National) and God of Carnage (Gielgud). Recent television credits include Battle Creek, The Honourable Woman, The White Queen, Parade’s End and Damages. Her film credits include Hannah Arendt, The Woman in Black, Albert Nobbs, for which she received the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination, and Tumbleweed, for which she received the Best Actress Academy Award nomination and won a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Mary Jo Walker.
Jennifer Saayeng (Émilie)returns to the Donmar after her performance in Josie Rourke’s City of Angels. She is currently rehearsing The Etienne Sisters (Theatre Royal Stratford East), and other theatre credits include The Colour Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory), A Long and Happy Life (Finborough), Ghost the Musical (Piccadilly) and Not Quite Gospel (Birmingham Repertory).
Una Stubbs (Madame de Rosemonde) returns to the Donmar following her performance in Jeremy Herrin’s The Family Reunion. She has performed in numerous productions on stage, most recently starring as Mrs Alexander in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (National). Further theatre credits include The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound (Chichester), Pygmalion (Old Vic, Theatre Royal, Bath and tour), Pillars of the Community (National), Don Carlos (Crucible, Sheffield), Great Expectations (Manchester Royal Exchange) and The Deep Blue Sea (Theatre Royal, Bath & Tour). She is well-known for her role as Mrs Hudson in the BBC’s Sherlock. Una’s other television credits include Martin, Midsomer Murders, The Tractate Middoth, The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff, Eastenders and The Catherine Tate Show. Film credits include Golden Years, Angel, Wonderful Life and Summer Holiday.
Dominic West (Le Vicomte de Valmont) returns to the Donmar following his critically-acclaimed performance in Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s Life is a Dream. Dominic’s theatre credits also include The Seagull (Old Vic), As You Like It (Wyndham’s Theatre), The Voysey Inheritance (National Theatre), Rock’n’Roll (Duke of York’s Theatre), Othello and My Fair Lady (Crucible, Sheffield), and the title role in Butley (Duchess). Dominic is well-known for his roles in the American television series The Affair and The Wire. Other television roles include Fred West in the ITV two-part series Appropriate Adult, for which he won a BAFTA, and Oliver Cromwell in Channel 4’s The Devil’s Whore. Film credits include Pride, True Blue, Chicago, Richard III, Hannibal Rising, 300, Mona Lisa Smile,and the recent World War I drama Testament of Youth.