Theatre Royal, Brighton
The 1987 revenge movie returns as a play, with Kym Marsh starring as a blandly monstrous ‘bunny boiler’ spurned by her married lover

Lock up your rabbits! The 1987 thriller that inspired the phrase “bunny boiler” – to describe a psychotically clingy lover – is back. Fatal Attraction exploited the terror of sexual promiscuity in the shadow of Aids, as well as the Reagan-era idealisation of the nuclear family. Cinema audiences booed the vengeful woman spurned by her married lover. Has the emphasis shifted now that gaslighting, white-male privilege and #MeToo have entered the lexicon?

The script by James Dearden, who also wrote the film, gives the errant husband Dan Gallagher (Oliver Farnworth) narrating privileges (“You think I’m crazy? You’d be right!”) but few glimmers of self-knowledge. More modulation from Farnworth would have been nice. Announcing bleakly that he once had it all, he sounds scarcely less peevish during flashbacks to happier days.

Fatal Attraction is at the Theatre Royal, Brighton, until 22 January then touring.

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