*Disclaimer: I’ve never seen the 80s film. I know, sacrilege, but I was a month away from being born when it was released!
Starring Mark Bazeley (Dan), Kirstin Davis (Beth, the wife) and Natascha McElhone (Alex, the other woman) Fatal Attraction is a stressful and terrifying dramatisation of what happens when two people make some very bad choices.
The first half was really, really interesting. Intrigue, stress, tension with both Mark and Natascha played their respective characters superbly (as did Kirstin Davis, however she did have limited time on stage). Dislike of Dan was created relatively quickly – his wife only went away for a weekend! - But you saw his worry at being unfaithful, his concern when he realised just what he had done (after he’d had his fun for a while…), but this was presented well, balancing the audiences dislike to empathy/sympathy (depending on your own history!), with the balance changing as the series of events unwinds. With Alex, you do start to see how she felt a bit hard done by being left in the early morning after having such a good night out, but seriously, she took it a fair few too many steps too far!
However, as much as the stress, and the tension, was built up prior to the interval, the interval appeared to hinder the first half’s flow. I’m not sure if this is purely driven by the break, or if the second half does not have enough pace, but my personal opinion is that it is too focused on the actions of Alex, rather than why she acted this way! I follow that she felt wronged, I understand she has something wrong with her (as who really boils a bunny?!), but what, what really caused this? Is it just driven by a strange chemical imbalance or is there something in her past or recent present that has set these events in motion? Maybe I’m looking into it in too much detail, but this isn’t a ‘fun’ play, rather a dramatic thriller, so some questions do need to be answered.
Now. To my most favourite parts of this play - the staging, the costumes and the bunny.
When the majority of the crowd oohing at the same point, the nights true winner was the bunny! On stage for mere seconds, it perked the crowd up no end, despite the universal knowledge of what was about to happen. I presume no rabbits were hurt in the making of this show.
The costumes (although not so much costumes as luxury outfits) were amazing, suiting both the characters and their respective actors perfectly, with both my friend and I not-so-secretly coveting almost all of Natascha’s outfits (along with wishing to be as tall and slim as her too!).
Then the set, the positioning of the actors and the lighting – I think this really helped to aid the feel of the whole play. I really, really commended the set and light designers as there was never a distraction from changing of scenes, the ambiance for each scene was met completely, and the neon blue just looked really nice!
Overall: As I left this play, I came out thinking that although I wouldn’t go and see it again, if you can get decently priced tickets it’s definitely worth a viewing. It’s probably best if you’ve not seen the film, are not expecting to come out happy and dancing, but I would give it 3.5 stars on a whole. My lasting thought is that although it’s been updated, it could have done with being updated more – it was still far too focused on Dan. More needed to be made of the stories Alex and in some part, Beth too. Unless anyone reading this has ideas on Beth and Alex’s back stories – let me know!!
As a small side point – we ended up at the press night (25th March 2014, purely accidentally, we were in sitting in the gallery – seats are cheap, view is ok, but it’s very, very high!), and got caught up in the general melee of paparazzi, celebrities (Stephen Fry, Nigella Lawson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Suki Waterhouse et al.). It was quite exciting, but boy I’m glad I don’t have deal with paparazzi when I’m hopping in a taxi, leaving a restaurant, going to the shops etc!
Following from that, I didn’t actually get any pictures from Fatal Attraction; I was too busy being nosy… (which is possibly just as bad?!).