From 09/20/1990 to 10/07/1990


Based on the French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, this daunting work explores games of seduction, betrayal and conquest.


The reviews are in.

“The Southern’s splendid production reaffirms that Wendy Knox is one of the three or four most interesting directors working in the Twin Cities today. She has drawn riveting performances from Dona Warner and Joe Patrick Gilday, who give the impression of rotting from the inside out. Michael Sommers’ set, dominated by a bed, a swing, and a prayer rail is economical and apt.”

Roy M. Close, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Every year, it seems there are periods when there is more good theater in town than there are nights on which to see it. Such is the case now. One winner is Wendy Knox’s staging of Heiner Muller’s QUARTET at the Southern Theatre. This is a stylish, richly layered adaptation of the Laclos novel “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” with fine performances by Dona Werner and Joe Gilday.”

Peter Vaughan, Star Tribune

“Those who have seen the play Dangerous Liaisons or the film version starring Glenn Close and John Malkovitch, will be doubly fascinated by Heiner Muller’s QUARTET. Muller, too, has turned to the 18th Century epistolary novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses for inspiration. Unlike those other adaptations, though, Muller’s distills the novel down to a mere two characters, Valmont and Merteuil. Through ritualistic games, these two don a variety of sexual masks and guises, exposing the ultimate emptiness of lives given over to sexual conquest with nary a nod in the direction of love and passion.

This is an intriguing and difficult play that calls to mind the works of Jean Genet. The action is focused down into a mere hour of playing time, and the language, full of sexual metaphors and imagery, is as lush and rich as any in contemporary theater. Language, of course becomes the ultimate sexual weapon in this world.

Muller is something of an acquired taste, but even if you don’t come to favor his style of theater, you can certainly appreciate the challenges inherent in this material. Knox and company are to be commended for rising to the challenge.”

Twin Cities Reader