Given the rather indigestible mouthful of its full title - La Dispute/Marivaux: Scenes of Love/Shakespeare - it's not surprising that The Theatre has given this show a catchphrase: "Love and seduction, French style, comes to Chipping Norton." The production is the culmination of a two-year project involving The Theatre, and Theatre du Preau in Normandy.

French director Eric de Dadelsen has intermixed Marivaux's La Dispute with extracts drawn from Shakespeare. "There is no love without transgression, that's the point Marivaux is making," de Dadelsen told me on the phone from Normandy beforehand. "You have to break the rules to accede to the tensions of love. Marivaux is very direct, and simple in his use of words to describe the relationship between lovers. On the other hand, Shakespeare brings more magic - you have the intervention of the gods, for instance."

Two infant boys and two girls have been raised by servants in complete isolation from each other, and from the outside world. As they reach maturity, the boys meet the girls in and around a swimming pool. So innocent are the girls, one of them, Églé (Juliette Navis-Bardin), does not recognise her own reflection in the water, and thinks she has met a pretty stranger. Nor does she understand that Azor (Alexandre Zeff) is a man - both are coyly clothed in shapeless, swirling white. However, hormones will out, and they duly fall in love.

It's quite a close-run thing, but de Dadelsen somehow manages to prevent all this becoming seriously twee. Events unfold slowly, and often gravely, but this gives the ensemble cast of ten plenty of opportunity to develop carefully observed physical and emotional body language. The intermixing of Marivaux and Shakespeare could jar, but it works remarkably well. Is it man or woman who is more unfaithful in love? Things hot up nicely as the play moves towards this central question, with a quite magnificent, fishwife row erupting between the two girls Eglé and Adine (Aude Sabin).

La Dispute certainly throws a fresh light on some familiar questions, even though it doesn't provide all the answers. As for faithfulness in love, try as I might, I couldn't entirely banish the supreme treatment of the subject from my mind - Mozart's Cosí fan tutte.

The play continues tonight and tomorrow. It can also be seen at the Pleasance Theatre, London, from March 20-25.