Sydney: theatre edition. My review of Les Liaisons Dangereuses / by Jessica Lee


I was starving for drama.

Back in Toronto, I would regularly go out to see theatre at least once a month. I have a terrible theatre addiction and it's a hard habit to break. If you know me well, I have probably asked you to go see theatre with me at least once. Ever since being on the road four months ago however, I hadn't had the chance to see much and was starting to crave the theatre.

My dreams were finally fulfilled this weekend as I had time (at last) to go with my friend Dan to see Les Liaisons Dangereuses put on by the Sydney Theatre Company.

It was just amazing. Hugo Weaving, Australian actor extraordinaire, was playing the starring role of Vicomte de Valmont. He was perfect in the role, oozing charisma and seducing the audience.

Here is a photo of him in the program photo with the other lead, actress Pamela Rabe:


Even though the actors were amazing, I was most impressed by the storyline. Even if you don't watch this play here in Sydney (because you're on the other side of the world or something), you should check out the movie Dangerous Liaisons, which I am assuming has a similar plot (my mom actually has this movie at home but I never bothered to watch it because the cover looked boring and stuffy). The whole thing is rather complex with the love pentagon- or rather it's just a bunch of people sleeping around; but it's not hard to follow and not too predictable either (this is a key factor in why I enjoyed it so much). 

Here is a photo I snuck while in the theatre:


Some of actors were on stage in character while the audience was being seated. 

I know some people don't value arts (ahem Rob Ford administration), but there is so much you can learn from watching a movie- not just practical things that impress people like history, if you were to watch a period drama; but also cool psychological things like what happens when you play with human emotion (like my psych textbook, but far more dramatic). It's also nice when you understand clever representations and metaphors. In a movie, the director might symbolize someone's death by doing a panning shot towards the sky to signify someone has "gone to heaven". In theatre, someone collapsing on the side of the stage would signify them "unravelling" and on a downward spiral.

One of my favourite parts though would be at the end. I like the feeling of catharsis when the final dramatic plot turn happens, the lights dim and come back on again, and the audience claps.

This is the layout of the stage:


I would say our seats were pretty good. We could have been more centred, but this is what you get when you buy tickets only one week in advance. We were quite lucky too as these tickets were just released five minutes before we were searching for them.

Here are photos of the Sydney Theatre Company building down by the wharf:



I was really quite impressed with the whole building itself. It was a long narrow hallway mostly, but I liked how it was different from all of the other theatres I've ever been to. My favourite theatre in Toronto is the Young Centre for Performing Arts and this theatre was definitely comparable (possibly better?) to that.

Here's why:

I think the theatre experience (what you see in the theatre) is influenced by pretexts. There was a really cool bar attached at the end of the theatre and we got to play some pool before and after the show, as well as enjoy the view of the Harbour bridge.

This was the view from their heated patio. It was actually really nice. In fact, I almost felt like a yuppie because I was enjoying so much luxury.


The theatre crowd is mostly older (over thirty) and classy, so we pretty much had the pool table to ourselves. The general atmosphere of the bar was a nice mix of modern hipness and elegance because of the distinguished, older crowd. 


 If you notice in the above photo, the designer chose to line the walls with literature (hard cover classics). I thought it was a nice touch as it adds intelligence to the feel of the bar.

 Some other photos of the building:


The long hallway reminds me of the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) back in Toronto, but I would argue that this place is much cooler as it is on the wharf and has a brilliant view of the Harbour bridge.