THE FINN-BRIT Players’ upcoming play Les Liaisons Dangereuses promises a show filled with comedy, satire and tragedy. The play follows Christopher Hampton’s theatre adaption of the novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. The novel was originally published as early as 1782 and caused a stir due to its content of sexual freedom. It retained its scandalous reputation for almost 200 years.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses tells the story of a dangerous pastime of two former lovers, Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont. The pair uses sex as a weapon to humiliate and degrade others, and use the act of seducing for vengeance, blackmailing and bringing people into a bad light. The story could well be set in the present, as it conveys the use of sex as authority and the idea of love as a game – issues all too familiar in our modern world.

“I try to bring out the feminism in the play, as the original book is also filled with feminist ideas,” explains director Stina Halmetoja. “The play is about pondering the values of society. It shows how a clever woman, who is not given the opportunity to express her talent in any other way, directs her power to destructive acts in a relationship. It’s also about morals, but in the end, the audience can decide what’s right and what’s wrong.”

Finn-Brit Players have been around for quite some time, with the roots of the group dating back to the 1920s when it first began as a theatre club within the British Embassy. The group has been consistently active for 30 years, producing at least two plays per year and hosting other activities such as play readings, poetry and jazz events, and parties.

The Finn-Brit Players
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
12 – 19 June, 19:00.
Tickets €12
Tunturikatu 16, Helsinki

To join the group one is not required to be a Brit or a Finn – even if the name so suggests. “Anyone can become an actor in our group; we always have an open audition for a play to ensure that we find the best people for each role. However, this is amateur theatre and everyone is here for the joy of it,” says Halmetoja.

Krista Sihvonen
Picture: Krista Sihvonen