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Fatal Attraction

Published 26 March 2014

What’s it all about?

It’s the single biggest deterrent to extra marital affairs to ever be written, well at least in the 1980s.

Replacing the classic film’s shoulder pads and perms with iPhones and Manhattan elegance, James Dearden’s stage adaptation remains otherwise almost religiously truthful to the infamous tale of successful lawyer Dan, a married man who strays away from his marital bed with nightmarish consequences.

Trevor Nunn brings the bunny boiling action to the West End, building suspense in his stylishly staged psychological thriller that sees a seductress turn to psychopath in a manipulative blink of an eye.

Who’s in it?

Natascha McElhone stars in the role made famous by Glenn Close, the iconic femme fatale Alex. Strikingly beautiful, she transforms chillingly from flirtatious and confident to a wild-eyed, unpredictable and violent liability with believable – well it’s theatre, we’re suspending disbelief here – ease. From innocently dropping into Dan’s office to lurking sinisterly in the background, her mere presence builds horror film worthy terror.

Mark Bazeley brings energy to Nunn’s production as the ensnared Dan, while Kristin Davis is the perfect girl – or in this case wife – next door, her softness and perkiness in direct contrast to Bazeley’s increasing panic and the icy cold McElhone. There’s also a bunny. Yes a real bunny (cue two minutes of ‘ahs’ from the audience).

What should I look out for?

Robert Jones’ sparse but striking, florescent blue-lit set and expensive, luxurious wardrobe of costumes, an excessive amount of extras who bring the busy streets – and bars – of New York to the Theatre Royal Haymarket’s stage and a number of bloody surprises to scare you out of your wits.

Who was in the press night crowd?

Who wasn’t more like. We spotted Stephen Fry, Nigella Lawson – let’s hope the show didn’t spark any inspiration for recipes featuring certain fluffy pets – model Laura Bailey and actors Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Rosamund Pike.

In a nutshell?

Keep your bunnies locked up for this stylishly staged guilty pleasure.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@Daisie_Smith My heart is literally still beating!!! ????Fatal Attraction is the most insane show I’ve ever watched!!!!

@alexlloydjourno Definitely need some Bach Rescue Remedy after seeing the dramatic Fatal Attraction at @TRH_London. #bunnyboiler

Will I like it?

If you’re looking to suspend disbelief and indulge your melodramatic passions, then yes. The story is enjoyably over the top, but the leading trio give compelling performances that will draw you into the action that may well turn your blood cold. As an added incentive, Dearden has added an ingenious new twist that raises the stakes even higher in his nightmarish tale.

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