Sunday, 8 June 2014

'Fatal Attraction' Theatre Royal, Haymarket **

The stage adaptation of the 1987 Paramount Pictures thriller, ‘Fatal Attraction’ was a play full of vast amount of disappointing moments and a real shame with such excellence and high profile casting. The play’s plot follows the same narrative of the film, but of course amendments have been made to make it a theatrical experience and the ending is staged in the exact format that was originally conceived for the film that was never seen. Set in New York City, attorney, Dan, a popular and happily married man was, whilst his wife, Beth and daughter, Ellen are away visiting a house that they're hoping to move into soon becomes Dan’s ultimate downfall.  He becomes attracted to Alexandra “Alex” Forrest, an editor for a publications company meet one another in a typical eighties bar and it'll become a moment he will regret for the rest of his existence, as he cheats on his wife, twice and makes are pregnant due to his indiscretion. This causes Dan to panic and pleads with Alex to abort the baby, but she does not want to, leading her to become psychologically obsessed with him. She constantly bombards him in any way imaginable and when Dan's family moved to Bedford, a rural town, Alex takes it upon herself to make their lives a hellish experience. Written by James Dearman, the narrative doesn't fully engage me and the flow of the performance makes me desensitised quite significantly as a scenic transitions are incredibly awful and lacks fluidity. This is not acceptable for West End theatre. Unfortunately the dialogue was extremely boring and needed much more refinement in powerful and scandalous scenes; such as the self-harming elements. However, the infamous rabbit-boiling scene did make me urge and made my jaw drop quite rapidly. The term “bunny boiler” was first used due to the film.  Thank goodness no rabbits were harmed in the performance for that matter.  The casting by Ginny Schiller and Billy Hopkins were ingenious, especially ‘Sex and the City’ star, Kristin Davis.  The performances by the company of ‘Fatal Attraction’ were quite satisfactory to be honest with you. Mark Bazeley's portrayal as Dan was not that impressive for a piece of acting as his vocal delivery was slightly amateur and I had slight troubles in hearing what he said. This is also due to the high sound levels. Natasha McElhone was spectacular as psychotic Alex. She seems to capture the spirit and personality of an extremely troubled person who will go to any lengths to obtain her prey. The self-harming and car burning scenes were spectacularly theatrical and slightly operatic, which was quite pleasant to witness. Kristin Davis was acceptable as Beth, disappointingly for such a well-known actress I was quite annoyed by her substandard characterisation and her naivety bothered me. Trevor Nunn’s direction and Robert Jones's design were vastly mediocre as the staging on the Theatre Royal, Haymarket stage was not thought of and lacked professionalism as this proscenium arch was not used to its full potential. It felt that the production was not rehearsed coherently whatsoever and it's a shame that this performance did not frighten me as it should have done.

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