Saturday, December 9

Fatal Attraction – Opera House

Hide your pets! The femme fatale has arrived in Manchester as the motion picture ‘Fatal Attraction’ hits the Opera House stage – with a soap star studded cast, led by Coronation Street’s Oliver Farnworth and Kym Marsh in addition to Footballer’s Wives star Susie Amy.

When happily married Dan Gallagher meets Alex, the pair share one weekend of passion. Dan quickly discovers love is a dangerous game and as he returns home, he realises this is one mistake he cannot forget. Kym plays Alex, a somewhat outdated stereotype of the over-sexualised, psychotic ‘other woman’. Marsh definitely gives the character the desired sensual nature and body language that the character demands, and her regular hysteric interludes bring a dramatic edge and thrill to the play.

©Tristram Kenton

Oliver Farnworth’s portrayal of the cheating husband, is strong, offering the audience narration throughout – despite the somewhat questionable, overbearing American accent. His character is present on stage pretty much throughout the whole production. Farnworth gives the somewhat one-dimensional character a clear journey, however there lacks an emotional pull to the character, creating tension and detachment with the audience from the beginning.

Suzie Amy gives a stiff performance as doting wife, Beth Gallagher, never fully exploring the deep hurt and anguish that should be portrayed in some of the scenes and at some points almost monotonal in her expression. 

The play includes several scenes of self-harm which could be triggering to some viewers as we see Marsh’s character unravel during the play, creating a much more gripping thriller with every fanatical step Alex takes.

The staging, although simple, was very diverse and hid most of the scene changes well, ensuring smooth and efficient movement between locations. The dramatic music really exaggerated each emotion from the scenes, from raunchy to dramatic, building the suspense and drawing the audience into the action. The music still kept an 80’s vibe with its often electro tones, dragging the play back into the era of the film rather than shooting it into the modern world.

James Dearden’s 1984 film was a true classic of its time. Its adaptation joins many others in the long line of film to stage adaptations, and although not the worst adaptation to be seen, it also doesn’t truly give the big stage feel, modern audiences want in the theatre.

©Tristram Kenton

Despite some flaws and the potential need for a modern revamp, the play was undeniably gripping (particularly for those who hadn’t seen the film) – it had audiences gasping and enthralled around me.

You can catch the star-studded movie live on stage at The Opera House Manchester until Saturday 26th February.  

Reviewer: Alison Ruck

Reviewed: 22nd February 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★