I took my first trip to the cinema in quite a while last night to see Northern Ballet do their production of Dangerous Liaisons. This was the same setting and story as the 1988 film starring Glen Close and John Malkovich.
I don’t actually think that the showing was live ( more on that in a bit ) but it was broadcast to a large number of cinemas across the country at the same time. So, it was very much a shared event.
This was the first time I’d been to one of these live cinema screenings, I was at the Vue Omni in the unusual screen of number 12. One of the smaller ones which was just as well as there were only about 7 people in the showing in total. Probably people are still a little cautious about going back to cinema, theatre etc.
The action takes place in pre-revolutionary France and represents the intrigue and game playing that the idle rich engaged in. The story is the same as the movie and the plot can be seen here but basically the Marquise de Merteuil attempts revenge on a former lover by having his bride to be seduced and “ruined”. Meanwhile the Vicomte de Valmont has a bet on with the Marquise that he can seduce Madame de Tourvel. This he does but at the expense of falling in love with her. All the game playing comes out and the Marquise is socially outcast for what she has done.
The staging of the ballet was very sparse with just three items of furniture on stage. All the action takes place on the same set. The costume and makeup were very well done however, in particular Abigail Prudames’ Marquise looked cruel as the role requires.
The movement was stunning with every intricacy of the story captured in the dance. Some of it was pretty raw with a sexual assault scene ( in the movie as well ), the showing had a BBFC certificate of 15 for that reason. The camera was in amongst the action at times allowing close-up of the dancers. This is what makes me think that it wasn’t a live showing.
In short, it was a fantastic evening out, virtually at the theatre. Only complaint was that the sound in the cinema was way too loud. That, however, seems to be a feature of the big multiplexes these days with the sound turned up to 11.
I’m going to look for it on DVD but if I get a chance to see it again, I will and I would thoroughly recommend it.