Social Media

Fatal Attraction - Royal and Derngate Review

Fatal Attraction, the classic 1987 movie is given a new life as a theatre play and it serves up an intriguing evening of tense drama.

Susie Amy and Oliver Farnworth. Photo by Tristram Kenton

In adapting his own screenplay, writer James Dearden's script delivers a fast-paced play. We meet Dan and his wife Beth who is heading away for the weekend leaving Dan at home alone. A phone call from pal Jimmy sees Dan agreeing to go for a drink at a local bar. At the bar, the pair's interests are piqued by the arrival of Alex Forrest.

With Jimmy called away Dan and Alex strike up a conversation that leads to an intimate night of passion together. After returning for a second night Dan tries to cut all ties with Alex but Alex becomes obsessive about contacting Dan at work or at home. Her obsession grows and grows, especially as she's fallen pregnant with Dan's child. 

Oliver Farnworth is excellent as Dan. He carries the strain and pain superbly, the inner battle of the web of lies that he keeps tangling himself in, and the battle of shaking off Alex. Louise Redknapp does a fine job with a fairly thankless role of Beth, her best moments come late on in the second act as the lies catch up and revelations unveil themselves.

Susie Amy is fantastic as Alex, from her initial seductive allure that lures in Dan to her own insecurities and mental health struggles. It's clear that the character has her own inner battles and there's some particularly uneasy self harm scenes. The way in which she portrays the possession and maddening mind of Alex is very impressive. She refuses to simply allow Dan to believe he'll get away with cheating or get away easy.

Oliver Farnworth. Photo by Tristram Kenton

Morgan Large's set initially looks very minimal but with video design by Mogzi we are transported to Manhattan in a brilliant way. There's some great camera work too which brings Facetime calls between characters to life on the backdrop of the set. Paul Englishby's score brilliantly undercuts the whole production and ramps up the tension along the way. 

Not everything works. I don't think having Ellen, the daughter of Dan and Beth off stage worked well as the characters look into the wings but as an audience you know she's not there just merely a recorded voice. I'm not entirely convinced by the ending too (which I shall not spoil) and the fight scenes looked a bit lacklustre. 

There's much to enjoy about this production. It's faced past human drama that features some complex characters and relationships. Thoroughly enjoyable.


Fatal Attraction continues at Royal and Derngate until Saturday 2nd April. Tickets are available from The tour continues with visits to Aylesbury, Glasgow, Cambridge and York. Dates and venues can be found from

Louise Redknapp and Oliver Farnworth. Photo by Tristram Kenton

Post a Comment


Theme by STS