A SUCCESSFUL theatre company known for producing high-quality, sell-out shows is bringing a scandalous tale to a Colchester theatre this weekend.

Paper Lantern Theatre Company is staging a version of Christopher Hampton’s classic and cruel story, Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Headgate Theatre.

Based on the epistolary novel of the same name, which was published in 1782, the narrative follows the evil and manipulative games of governmental figures.

Set shortly before the French Revolution, the story focuses on the Marquise De Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont, who are the plot’s main two protagonists.

Both narcissistic rivals, the ex-lovers socially control and exploit the lives, reputations and hearts of others using the deviant art of vengeful seduction.

The pair pursue their sinister regime for no reason other than to simply alleviate their boredom, which speaks volumes of their warped minds.

In a bid to make their version as original as possible, without detracting too much from the original text, a new score has been composed.

The production company has also taken time to explore ways in which it can imaginatively move through the story with thoughtful staging and creative transitions.

The controversial tale will be directed by the experienced stage-guru and theatrical mind of Sally Broatch, who says she has long wished to helm this play.

She said: “This is a rich and powerful text that we have wanted for a long time, having waited three years for the rights to become available.

“The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons Dangereuses one of the most scandalous and controversial novels in European literature.

“The play delivers every ounce of this and so much more.

“With a phenomenal cast bringing these characters to life, we are very excited to bring this to Colchester.

“This is more than just a play and the audience are in for a real treat.”

Les Liaisons Dangereuses is being shown on Friday at 7.30pm and Saturday (Feb 8) at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £15 or £12 for concessions and can be purchased from the Headgate Theatre box office by calling 01206 366000.

For more information, visit the venue’s website at headgatetheatre.co.uk.