Fatal Attraction

Previewed 8 March 2014, Opened 25 March 2014, Closed 21 June 2014 at the Haymarket Theatre Royal in London

The World Stage Premiere of James Dearden's Fatal Attraction in London starring Kristin Davis and Natascha McElhone and directed by Trevor Nunn.

This story of obsession and revenge explores how a chance meeting in a bar and a casual encounter quickly becomes a living nightmare for Dan Gallagher, a successful New York lawyer, and his young family. After spending one weekend with the gorgeous Alex Forrest, he assumes he can just walk away, but Alex is a woman who refuses to be ignored. She pursues Dan and his family with terrifying consequences.

The cast for Fatal Attraction in London features Natascha McElhone as 'Alex Forrest', Mark Bazeley as 'Dan Gallagher' and Kristin Davis as 'Beth Gallagher'. This is a new stage adaptation by James Dearden, the original writer of the 1987 movie starring Glenn Close, Michael Douglas and Anne Archer which was nominated for six Oscars including for James Dearden.

When this production opened Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph wrote that director Trevour Nunn offers "a slickly staged, sleekly designed thriller" with a cast who "perform their roles with some panache." Simon Edge in the Daily Express said that he "came away happy enough to have seen two interesting screen stars in the flesh but this does seem to be an instance of adapted material that worked better in its original medium" while over in the London Evening Standard Henry Hitchings commented that while "Trevor Nunn's production is glossy, with a stylish design by Robert Jones... the project at no point feels like a good idea." In the Daily Mail Quentin Letts thought that "this new stage version is decently acted and coolly staged," adding that "fans of psychological suspense will thrill to this show." Michael Billington in the Guardian wrote that "even though James Dearden has made some adjustments to his 1987 script... it remains an essentially hollow experience" that "doesn't do enough to reimagine the movie."

Kristin Davis is best known for playing the role of 'Charlotte' in both the long running television series and movie versions of Sex and the City. Natascha McElhone West End stage credits include David Grindley's revival of Joanna Murray-Smith's play Honour starring Diana Rigg at the Wyndham's Theatre (2006). She is probably best known for playing the role of 'Karen' in the TV series Californication. Mark Bazeley London stage credits include Robert Falls' revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman starring Brian Dennehy at the Lyric Theatre (2005), Michael Grandage's revival of Tennesse Williams' Suddenly Last Summer starring Diana Rigg at the Noel Coward Theatre (2004) and Edward Hall's revival of William Shakespeare's Macbeth starring Sean Bean at the Noel Coward Theatre (2002).

"For anyone who saw the hugely lucrative 1987 film, the performances of Michael Douglas and Glenn Close will still be indelibly etched upon their memories. Let me say at the outset that Mark Bazeley and Natascha McElhone acquit themselves admirably in the roles of the amoral married bed hopper and his nemesis... It soon becomes clear, alas, that Dearden has little more to offer than he did in the film, and, worse, seems willing to make few, if any, concessions to the stage. The principals have to regurgitate huge chunks of dialogue that feel as if they have been cut and pasted from the original screenplay... There is precious little for the members of the supporting cast to do but to walk on and off in various guises, as Bazeley and McElhone, centre stage, take it out on each other and a perfectly innocent rabbit... For all that, I have an awful hunch that this show might well do quite good business, almost despite itself. It is hokum, but hokum served up very professionally, with very good looks, and, in its own perverse way, it's quite fun." The Sunday Telegraph

"The bunny's appearance prompts an 'aah!' from the audience, then a gasp quickly buried by a giggle when the steaming saucepan is put into a handy dustbin. This is as close as we get to emotional engagement in a production that leaves you wholly uninvolved and unmoved. The actors do their best. Natascha McElhone, in the Close role of Alex Forrest, is fabulously foxy and dangerous to the tips of her red snakeskin boots... What film can do with close-ups, theatre must do with heightened dramatic language and it's missing in James Dearden's weak rewrite." The Mail on Sunday

"The question - almost the only one - raised by this cumbersome stage version of the pulpy 1987 movie is: what will Trevor take-the-money-and-Nunn not direct? The bunny still gets it all right, but the real murder going on is to the reputation of everyone involved... James Dearden has tinkered with his script, but it still plays like a family-values enforcement manual: if you are a married man who strays, you will be stalked and destroyed by an unhinged woman. The evening fails to get us on anyone's side, excepting the rabbit's: it's a compendium of clichés, and the characters contain less interior life than a cutlery drawer. Unconscionably brainless." The Sunday Times

"James Dearden has made much of his wish to redress the balance of sympathies towards Alex, the part played originally by Glenn Close and here by Natascha McElhone, after studio executives tilted the screenplay towards Max, the Michael Douglas role now played by Mark Bazeley. Nevertheless, the story remains narrated by Max and is seen entirely from his point of view... Director Trevor Nunn peoples the stage with a dozen extras as if to distract from the lack of drama. Bazeley is powerfully anguished; McElhone does all she can with an underwritten role; and Kristin Davis makes a sympathetic London debut as Max's betrayed wife. It is, however, a chilling comment on the production that the greatest audience response is generated by the pet rabbit." The Express on Sunday

Fatal Attraction in London at the Theatre Royal Haymarket Theatre previewed from 8 March 2014, opened on 25 March 2014 and closed on 21 June 2014.