"Downton" Star Withdraws From Donmar's Les Liaisons Dangereuses

News   "Downton" Star Withdraws From Donmar's Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Michelle Dockery, best known for her screen role as Lady Mary Crawley in "Downtown Abbey," has withdrawn from the new Donmar Warehouse production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in which she was due to star this Christmas season.

She has been replaced as Madame de Tourvel by Elaine Cassidy. The production begins performances Dec. 11, prior to an official opening Dec. 17 for a run through Feb. 13 2016. It will also be broadcast live in cinemas in partnership with National Theatre Live Jan. 28.

No reason for the switch was offered.

In a press statement, Josie Rourke, the Donmar Warehouse's artistic director who will also direct the production, commented, "We are delighted to welcome Elaine Cassidy back to the Donmar playing Madame de Tourvel, I can’t wait to work with Elaine and our fantastic company when rehearsals start on Monday, and hope to work with Michelle in the future."

Christopher Hampton's stage adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 novel will also feature Adjoa Andoh, Theo Barklem-Biggs, Morfydd Clark, Edward Holcroft, Janet McTeer, Jennifer Saayeng, Una Stubbs and Dominic West.

In 1782, Choderlos de Laclos' novel of sex, intrigue and betrayal in pre-revolutionary France scandalised the world. Two hundred years later, Christopher Hampton's adaptation won both the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Play when it was premiered in a production under the auspices of the RSC. Josie Rourke's new production will now mark the play's 30-year revival. 

In the play, former lovers the Marquise de Merteuil (McTeer) and Vicomte de Valmont (West) now compete in games of seduction and revenge. Merteuil incites Valmont to corrupt the innocent Cécile Volanges (Andoh) before her wedding night but Valmont has targeted the peerlessly virtuous and beautiful Madame de Tourvel (Cassidy). While these merciless aristocrats toy with others' hearts and reputations, their own may prove more fragile than they supposed.

Cassidy has previously appeared at the Donmar in Fathers and Sons in 2014 and in the Donmar's production of Les Parents Terribles at the Trafalgar Studios in 2010. Other theatre credits include Deluge There Came a Gypsy Riding (Almeida Theatre), The Crucible (RSC) and Scenes from the Big Picture (National Theatre).

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 871 7624 or visit donmarwarehouse.com for further details.

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