Based on the famous 1987 psychological thriller starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, the play has stirred controversy amongst London theatre-goers. So, we headed to Theatre Royal Haymarket to check it out.
Dan Gallagher, a happily married New York lawyer, has a two-night stand with Alex Forrest, an attractive book editor, while his wife and daughter are in the country for the weekend. Although Dan is keen to forget about it, Alex becomes obsessed and she … attacks, abducts, trashes a car, boils a bunny …
The good …
The play is a decent theatre adaptation of the movie, staying true to the original film, with some scenes having been copied word-for-word. There are little surprises here and there, and a surprise ending that will leave you wondering. Needless to say, we watched the movie straight after the play!
The sets were excellent; from the homely décor of Dan Gallagher’s city apartment, to Alex Forrest’ minimalistic flat, to the glossy neon-blue lights of the New York bar.
The play also has a good cast with each actor giving its own interpretation to the role. Mark Bazeley as Dan Gallagher has a bit of a not-so-sexy sexist attitude, trying to justify his adultery as ‘the patriotic duty of any red-blooded heterosexual American male’. Natasha McElhone as Alex Forrest is truly elegant and beautiful; however, she lacks Glenn Close’s eerie spark. Kristin Davis as Beth Gallagher takes the part of the sweet, goody-two-shoes housewife.
The not so good …
Despite the cast’s best efforts, some scenes lacked emotion, especially the fight scenes between Dan and Alex, which lacked the passion that stems from true rage. Unfortunately, we couldn’t relate to or sympathise with any of the characters, since in some scenes the performances were a little ‘wooden’.
A decent adaptation with some room for improvement. As fans of the original movie, we would watch the play again.
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