Fatal Attraction is a must see, 5 star production – go with friends, go with partners but probably don’t go if you’re having (or thinking of having) an affair.
James Dearden’s dark and twisted tale of obsessive love leaves you breathless. Leads Kym Marsh and Oliver Farnworth give one of the most powerful performances you’re likely to see this year.
Based on the Paramount Pictures movie from 1992, Fatal Attraction is the tale of Dan Gallagher (Farnworth), a happily married New York lawyer who one night happens to be in a bar with a friend when he meets publisher Alex Forrest (Marsh) who is out looking for company. Tempted to stay a while longer as his wife is away, Dan and Alex end up having dinner and then go back to her apartment. A one night stand ensues, but from this point on, the one night is the least of Dan’s worries as Alex begins to control, manipulate, threaten, plead and beg for Dan’s attention. She turns up at his work, calls his cell, texts and even manages to meet his wife at their apartment.
Trying hard to distance himself from Alex, Dan changes his phone numbers, his routine, agrees to move out of the city with his wife and daughter but nothing will stop Alex. Using all her powers of emotional blackmail and some very clever, underhand tricks, she manages to get right under the skin of Dan’s life and from there she festers and grows, like a cancer. The ends to which she will go and limitless, the infamous rabbit scene is even more harrowing on stage than in the movie and her coup de grace is the ultimate in revenge.
Kym Marsh is simply amazing – sultry and seductive, yet in one moment she becomes psychotic, unhinged, fragile and dangerous. You never know which Alex is going to appear from one scene to the next and that is truly scary. In a minimal set there are no distractions from the performance on stage, but to be honest, Marsh could perform in a crowd of thousands and you would be able to see nothing but her.
Farnworth’s Dan, for any married man, is surely a ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ performance – he never intends to cheat on his wife, nor does he seek to maintain a relationship with Alex after the fateful weekend but he does show that, to coin Kipling ‘ the female of the species is more deadly than the male’. His weakness was his ego; flattered by the attentions of a beautiful woman he pays the ultimate price in losing everything he once held dear. Farnworth delivers a profound progression of annoyance to frustration, to desperation, to rage and finally to complete devastation with the pain and anguish visible right to the back of the theatre.
Supporting cast Susie Amy as Dans wife Beth is perfect; she is lovely and loving, wants nothing more than to enjoy her married life and move to the country which makes his cheating on her evermore heart-breaking.
Special mention to lighting designer Jack Knowles, sound designer Carolyn Downing and Set designer Morgan Large who give director Loveday Ingram some of the most powerful and evocative tools to play with.