Saturday, December 9

Fatal Attraction – The Alexandra

This well-known thriller based on the film of the same name, comes to Birmingham this week to bring a touch of romantic drama.

Beth and Dan have a happy life until she spends a weekend at her mother’s and Dan goes to a bar. From here Dan (Oliver Farnworth) makes a series of bad decisions, the first being to have dinner with a beautiful lady in the bar, Alex (Kym Marsh). Will Dan be able to keep his weekend activities secret, or will Alex reveal the truth as she gets more desperate for him to stand up to his responsibilities.

There is a tension throughout the play, partly because most people have an idea where this is going. There are audible reactions when there is mention of a pet rabbit and when a phone number is handed over. Adding to this tension the sound design keeps you on edge with discordant music and whispers bringing a sinister feel to even a phone call.

Although the set appears simple it is used to great effect taking you through many locations at the change of a screen and the addition of one piece of furniture. It is also used to show video calls and illustrate parts of the story in an abstract way.

©Tristram Kenton

From the very first moment Dan breaks the 4th wall acting as a narrator of his story, giving you an insight into his thoughts and feelings. Oliver Farnworth portrays the characters descent perfectly; you are torn between feeling sorry for him and thinking he brought it on himself. He is on stage for almost the entire show managing costume changes seamlessly as part of the action. The role of Alex cannot be an easy one to play, there are many sides to her, the character is arguably less of an out and out villain since the story was written and more is known about mental health issues. Kym Marsh takes the character and makes it her own showcasing the emotional, calculating, and sexual sides of Alex so well that there were moments you actually felt for her.

The action flowed and moved the story on at pace and featured many of the scenes from the film, but with the original ending that was intended for the film. There were a couple of moments in the second act that felt slightly rushed as there was a lot to squeeze into 55 minutes, this didn’t affect the overall performance.

With the tension, drama and scenes of self harm, which might be triggering for some, this isn’t a light-hearted evening at the theatre. What it is though is a well told story with plenty of action and some very good performances. Fatal Attraction will have you on the edge of your seat and realising actions have consequences.

Fatal Attraction runs at The Alexandra Birmingham until Saturday 5th March,

Reviewer: Annette Nuttall

Reviewed: 1st March 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★