I’ll say one thing for Trevor Nunn’s stage production of ’80s thriller ‘Fatal Attraction’: it’s put me off adultery for life. Mostly because I’m worried I might have a flashback to Trevor Nunn’s stage production of ’80s thriller ‘Fatal Attraction’.
In fact, it’s unfair to veteran director Nunn to single him out for blame – he does his best, all things considered, directing the action with a neon-y slickness, a bit like Rupert Goold’s granddad. The problem with ‘Fatal Attraction’ the play is ‘Fatal Attraction’ the film: on this evidence it’s simply not suitable for adaptation for the stage.
Writer James Dearden has spoken out about Hollywood monkeying around with his original screenplay to make Michael Douglas’s cheating husband Dan more sympathetic and Glenn Close’s jilted one-night-stand more crazy. But his own stage adaptation hardly redresses the balance: the play is presented entirely from the perspective of Mark Bazeley’s ever-soliloquising Dan, and though Natascha McElhone’s Alex is initially rather sympathetic, Dearden never offers us any insight into what she’s going through, or why she flips from agitated to psychotic.
By the second half it’s degenerated into crazy-stalker-lady-behaves-crazily-while-rugged-Dan-shouts-a-lot. We already know how far Alex will go – the bunny is duly boiled – and both sympathy and suspense ebb away for a thoroughly tedious conclusion.
In some ways the biggest shame is that talented actors Bazeley and McElhone aren’t being more gainfully employed, because they are good. He’s great, all sleazy, self-deluding charisma; she’s genuinely winning in the early stages: a fragile, boho depressive who deserves better than her treatment by Dan. Their co-star, Kristin Davis from ‘Sex and the City’, has little to do beyond act cutesy as Dan’s saintly wife Beth, which she does well enough. But all that their efforts – and those of Nunn and designer Robert Jones – can do is put a slick gloss on an irreparable script.
Average User Rating
3.8 / 5
- 5 star:9
- 4 star:8
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:3
We loved this play! Such a fantastic night out and all that we'd hoped - thrilling, suspenseful, fun and the actors were incredible. Its not everyday you get stars on the stage who can really pull it off! A must - see.
I loved the play, I remember the film and was really interested to see how it would transpire on stage and up to modern day, it didn't disappoint. A must see for a great night out!
great thriller, as good as Woman In Black...especially writing and acting...a perfect date night out!!! my friends and I were discussing all night long.
I loved this play. I went with my boyfriend on Saturday night and we were both on the edge of our seats. It's very thought provoking and we had a lively discussion with another couple in the interval. I won't give away the new ending which is different to the film, but it's a great payoff to a cautionary tale about the perils of adultery. Boyfriend very quiet on the way home but I'll put that down to tiredness!
Once again men are reminded of the do's & don'ts of the relationship game. The rules haven't changed and the stage version doesn't pull punches. A good night out but not necessarily first-date material. There's a freshness to this production, check it out.
I saw the production on Tuesday 25th of March...the press night... I have to say it´s one of the worst shows I have seen in London for many years... Direction is bad and the script can´t turn into stage play... I found ridicilous when the main character (the man) came to talk to audience about - how are things going... ---
The movie is really a thriller...this production is far from thriller...and then end... Who wants to see Alex making suicide and rose petals are falling over her...what a misery!!! I really waited that things are getting better... Sorry,t his production should close soon.
Polite, rather than enthusiastic, applause at the end of the preview performance I saw indicated to me that I was not the only one to feel disappointed by this adaptation of the big-screen blockbuster for the West End stage. It’s difficult to create tension, suspense and shock in an audience that knows (or at least thinks it knows) exactly what it’s going to get and thus it proved. The extreme passion, guts and gore of the film are missing, replaced by a weak, clichéd script and comedy where there should be none – the bunny boiler scene being reduced to an empty bunny cage, a large pan on the stove with a spotlight shining on it, a screaming child and – at least on the night I attended – barely contained sniggers from many of the audience. Mark Bazeley (Dan Gallagher) and Natascha McElhone (Alex Forrest) make the best of the material they’re given but the Brechtian conceit of stepping out of the action to address the audience with his innermost thoughts, as Dan Gallagher does many times throughout the performance, is distracting – as indeed are the numerous extras who pop up constantly and drift across the stage in various guises. Kristin Davis demonstrates a nice line in answering the telephone and pulling exasperated expressions, but little more. This one should have been left to the big screen and I feel like dusting down my old DVD copy to remind myself just how good it was.
Well after reading the mixed reviews before watching the play i kept an open mind - But it was truly disappointing - to be honest i have seen better productions at my daughters secondary school. Alex just did not come across 'psycho' enough, Dan just shouted constantly and Beth was just dull AND very let down by the ending, I thought this would be the opportunity for the cast to fully show what they were capable o,f but no. Overall i would struggle to give it anymore than 5/10 and that's generous
I've always loved the film so decided to buy the cheapest ticket I could get to see the stage play. Boy, was I glad I bought a cheap ticket! In my view, this does not work as a stage play. I didn't like the running commentary by the male character (don't know his name) which, in my view, was unnecessary and I thought the acting overall was poor. I'd give this 4 out of 10. I think most people are familiar with the film so I found it ridiculous when the lead actress (I've no idea what her name is) says something like "I don't want anything to happen to our new car". Who would say something like that? It was unnecessary and out of context. If I had to give a "Best Actor's Award" then it would go to Dan's best friend (actually I'd give it to the rabbit!). I'm glad I saw it but was disappointed in the production. I found the stage scenes more entertaining, particularly the one with the tree and the final scene (suicide) - no talking just movement in silhouette. Polite applause.
The stereotypical characters (good wife, evil mistress, caught-in-sleep hubby) would be significantly assisted if there were a few more words for them to work with. Despite being written by the original screen writer, the dialogues were inadequate, lacking flow, and essentially missing sentences. Watch if interested in seeing very good sets and in seeing a couple of famous faces performing live.
I rated this 3.5 stars (and rounded up to 4) - I'd definitely advise going to see this, the first half, the sets, the costumes and the acting are brilliant, the stress and the tension in the first half builds dramatically, however I really felt that the pace of the second half and the outstanding questions, especially around Alex meant that it wasn't as excellent as it could have been.
A more detailed review can be found here: http://www.mylondonlife.net/blog.html
I almost decided not to see this play after reading several bad critics' reviews. I'm really glad I did though. I really enjoyed the thrilling evening at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and even wrote a blog post about it: a http://nordicodyssey.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/london-play-review-fatal-attraction/
Brillant!!!!!!! not often do you see a film that translates so well onto stage. huge fan of film, and this play stands on its own... the actors were terrific, writing was great (ending was shocking, couldnt believe it), and all in all a really thrilling show. worth the trip down to london.... really recommend it
what a great night in the theatre, a throughly well produced and acted production. Great date night.. go see it
I found the play version very modern, having enjoyed the film when it was originally released it was exciting to see it updated to the present.
Saw this play last night, went with my girlfriend, it is a great thriller of a show. def makes you feel uncomfortable if you've anything to hide!! Slick acting too.
great play, if you loved the film this is even better - the acting is outstanding, the set inspiring and the rabbits a great addition!
I have to say this is one of the best shows I have seen for many years. The set is fabulous and the production is amazing. I was also lucky enough to be there on Tuesday night with several friends. We all loved it. Another friend is taking me next week and I am so looking forward to seeing it again.