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Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Laclos, adapted by Christopher Hampton

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BBC Radio 7, 1-2 October 2009
 
This two-hander, performed by Lindsay Duncan (from the original RSC stage production) and Ciaran Hinds, proved ideal for radio. Essentially a series of verbal games centering on the theme of love, this adaptation - directed by John Tydeman - ultimately revealed the essential worthlessness of their outlook on life. Although equipped with considerable intelligence - so much so that their dialogue had all the cut-and-thrust of a sword-fight - they possessed nothing underneath. They possessed what might be described as the rhetorical equivalent of the Emperor's New Clothes - professing plenty of outward finery, but with nothing tangible to show for their efforts. Ultimately I was left wondering why the French Revolution took so long to materialize; if the working class had to suffer the indignities of being ruled by such empty-headed aristocrats, one wonders why they did not rebel earlier.