Wednesday 24 January 2024

Cruel Intentions - Review

The Other Palace, London


Created by Jordan Price, Lindsey Rosin & Roger Kumble
Based on the original film by Roger Kumble
Directed by Jonathan O'Boyle
Choreographer and associate director Gary Lloyd

Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky and the cast of Cruel Intentions

In its London premier, Cruel Intentions is a cracking night at the theatre.

More playlist than musical, this homage to the 1990s and translated from the screen is a ghastly tale about horrible people, but set to some banging tunes. Les Liaisons Dangereuses was the inspiration for Roger Kumble’s 1999 movie - a film about naïfs, exploiters and the exploited and the challenges of adolescents discovering their sexuality.

Driving the show is Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky as Kathryn with an energy and powerhouse presence that electrifies. McCaulsky’s West End credentials are impeccable and when she’s on stage she classily owns every scene. Alongside McCaulsky in the female leads are two debutantes  Abbie Budden and Rose Galbraith as Annette and Cecile respectively. Both young women shine, with Galbraith in particular displaying excellent comic timing in her numbers. Daniel Bravo completes the quartet of leads in the complex role of Sebastian, a young man who struggles when feelings of true love catch up with his hitherto predatory instincts.

The company make fine work of anthems such as Kiss Me, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Losing My Religion and The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony powerfully supported by Denise Crowley’s 4-piece band.

Jonathan O’Boyle directs with wit, assisted by Gary Lloyd who also choreographs - there are few better than Lloyd for translating modern pop and rock classics into dance.

Don't look too closely at the cliched plot - just wallow in this glorious tribute to the 90s.

Runs until 14th April
Photo credit: Pamela Raith

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