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Fatal Attraction falls foul of critics

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Mar 26, 2014 | 4:35am EDT

A new West End adaptation of Hollywood thriller Fatal Attraction has received a frosty reception from critics, with reviewers branding the production "horrible", "pointless" and "amateurish". The 1987 movie has been transformed into a play with Mark Bazeley in the role of the adulterous husband played by Michael Douglas, and Natascha McElhone taking on Glenn Close's part as his bunny-boiling lover, with Kristin Davis as the betrayed wife. The show opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the British capital on Tuesday night (25Mar14), but it failed to win over critics, who attacked the plot changes, the script and the concept. Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail newspaper writes, "Though I give Fatal Attraction three stars - this new stage version is decently acted and coolly staged - I hated almost every minute of it. What a horrible, heartless story." The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer brands the show "pointless", adding, "Though some of the changes to the film may intrigue or infuriate Fatal Attraction obsessives, and the new final twist is undoubtedly ingenious, they are hardly ground-breaking and hardly justify the trouble and expense of a trip to the West End." Michael Billington of The Guardian was also unimpressed with the show, concluding, "There is something pathetic about the commercial theatre's increasing reliance on movies for source material... It puzzles me why people should be expected to cough up to see a transplanted screenplay; and, even though (writer) James Dearden has made some adjustments to his 1987 script for Fatal Attraction, it remains an essentially hollow experience." The Times critic Dominic Maxwell gave the play a lowly one star out of five, and branded the show, "a bad idea, poorly executed," adding, "It's amateurish... It's risible." Maxwell also criticised producers over the iconic 'bunny boiling' scene, revealing he could "see the bunny still alive and well in its cage" when it was purported to be in a saucepan onstage.

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