Based on the French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, Cruel Intentions was released in cinemas in 1999, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reece Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe. It tells the story of upper class, sex obsessed, siblings Sebastian and Kathryn who make a bet as to whether or not Sebastian can get a self proclaimed virgin until marriage into bed. But this dark and twisted story gives viewers more than they bargained for.
Cruel Intentions was turned in to a 90’s jukebox musical in 2015 and had an off-broadway run in 2017. The show is now making its UK premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The story is pretty much identical to the film, with a stellar West End cast including Evelyn Hoskins, Sophie Isaacs and Dean John Wilson. Performed in a cabaret style tent, the actors mingle with the crowd during the show giving it an interactive feeling.
Jukebox musicals are often criticised but the 90’s pop hits work so well with this show and fit in with the story perfectly. Keeping the opening and closing numbers from the film soundtrack are Placebo’s Every You Every Me and The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony but other songs include Kiss Me, Lovefool, No Scrubs, I’ll Make Love To You, Bitch and Losing My Religion. If you know the film then you will instantly understand how perfect each of these song choices are and where they perfectly fit in to the show.
Cruel Intentions is a brilliant show that must come to London because I simply have to see it again… and again!
Reviewed by West End Wilma
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