Fatal Attraction has to be one of the most iconic films of the late 1980s, if not for the flawless performances from Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, or some of the most memorable scenes in film history, then for the fact that it gave us that famous phrase, ‘bunny boiler’.
Staging a theatrical production of a film always comes with a certain amount of risks, especially when the film in question is so popular and iconic. This intense thriller of a film has been dramatically re-interpreted for the stage by original screen writer, James Dearden and directed by renowned theatre director, Trevor Nunn. With an all-star cast taking the lead, Natasha McElhone, Mark Bazeley and Kristin Davis.
As in the film, the stage show follows a series of events that change the life of Dan Gallagher, played by actor Mark Bazeley, who meets Alex Forrest, played by Natascha McElhone, purely by chance one night in a bar. As soon as the couple meet they appear to make an instant connection, while Dan’s wife Beth, played by Kristin Davis, is away in the country, Dan takes advantage of the situation. Whilst Dan is under the illusion he has entered into a harmless, no obligation evening of illicit fun, he has no idea who Alex is or just what she is capable of. The series of events that unfurl are tense and are often difficult to witness, McElhone’s characterisation of Alex Forrest and her transformation into a deeply disturbed woman is subtle yet unnerving with a twist of sadness that often leaves you feeling sorry for her. Bazeley’s performance as Dan Gallagher is just what the character needs to be, his transformation from a smooth and in-control lawyer to a frantic and nervous wreck is so subtle and slick, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment when he loses control. Amidst all the drama and deceit is Dan’s wife, Beth, Davis plays the loving and trusting wife perfectly with an elegance and sweetness that is totally endearing, however the change in her character is remarkable. As soon as she learns of Dan’s indiscretion she appears almost broken and completely devastated, delivering a powerful performance.
Currently playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, Fatal Attraction has certainly captured the essence of what made the film so compelling and gripping, with strong themes throughout of revenge, obsessive love and consequence. If you like to watch theatre that is intense and has a strong storyline, Fatal Attraction is the option for you. It is extremely well acted, the changes that have been made give it a modern twist and some will even take you by surprise.
Review by Haydn James
Fatal Attraction at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
Evenings: Monday to Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees: Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm
Presented by Theatre Royal Haymarket Productions, Robert Fox and Patrick Ryecart.
Starring Natascha McElhone, Mark Bazeley and Kristin Davis.
Natascha will play Alex Forrest, Mark will play Dan Gallagher and Kristin will play Beth Gallagher in Trevor Nunn’s world stage premiere of Fatal Attraction.
See the classic thriller dramatically re-interpreted for the stage by original screen writer James Dearden, in this compelling production directed by Trevor Nunn, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
The famous story of obsession and revenge explores how a chance meeting in a bar and a casual encounter quickly becomes a living nightmare for Dan Gallagher, a successful New York lawyer, and his young family. After spending one weekend with the gorgeous Alex Forrest, he assumes he can just walk away, but Alex is a woman who refuses to be ignored. She pursues Dan and his family with terrifying consequences.
Tuesday 25th March 2014