Fatal Attraction at Birmingham Alexandra Theatre Review

Fatal Attraction at Birmingham Alexandra Theatre Review


Posted 2022-03-02 by Alison in Birmingham follow

Tue 01 Mar 2022 - Sat 05 Mar 2022

Who can forget the original Fatal Attraction movie starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. It not only made popular the term 'bunny boiler' but also gained acclaim as a tense, psychological thriller.

This new stage version at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham until Saturday March 5 gives Fatal Attraction a 21st century makeover. In some ways, it redresses some of the 1987 slant of sympathising heavily with the male. Without giving anything away, the audience should brace themselves for an alternative ending.

There's a lot more tech involved too with a backdrop of impressive electronic screens that incorporate phones and video cameras and display scenes of New York and elsewhere.

The leads are both former Coronation Street actors, Oliver Farnworth and Kym Marsh. Then there is Susie Amy, who was famously Chardonnay in Footballers Wives, playing the minimal role of the wronged wife Beth.

While it's a little slow to get going, the first half an hour focuses on the seductive meeting between the pair and their sizzling encounter. It's sexy and sassy without being uncomfortable viewing.

Soon the dream weekend affair turns into a nightmare for Dan, who is the narrator and does well to hold everyone's attention. He's a strong lead, on stage for the majority of the time.

The problem is that the film was so good at creating atmosphere and building tension. In comparison, the play ends up being more of a domestic and the conversations are a little stilted at times. It feels much more like a soap opera, which is apt considering the two main stars are from that background.

Interestingly, the moments that were hardest to watch in the film, particularly involving the rabbit, became almost comic on stage. The knowing audience, preempting the bunny's fate, chuckle at its every mention, creating a different experience.

Marsh, known now as Morning Live presenter, is a good fit as Alex. She manages to be seductive yet vulnerable and also volatile when needed. The audience also had a lot of love for her. This version puts more emphasis on examining Alex's mental health too, rather than just writing her off as an obsessive.

Although not household names, there's strong support from John Macauley as friend Jimmy and Anita Booth as Dan's sceptical mother-in-law.

While this play is enjoyable enough, it turns into a parable on how a brief affair can ruin a man's life. It just goes short of flashing up warning signs to the men in the audience. It has plenty of passion and new ideas, but don't expect it to come close to the atmosphere and tension in the famous film.

RATING:& #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9734 ;& #9734 ;

!date 01/03/2022 -- 05/03/2022
70625 - 2023-01-26 01:48:14


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