Cruel Intentions: the 90’s musical

I was obsessed with the film ‘Cruel Intentions’ when I was a teenager, I thought it was so cool the New York Upper East side, the clothes, the car (a vintage jaguar xk140 roadster) but most of all I was taken by Sebastian Valmont, the character played by Ryan Phillippe. I even ordered a pair of lookalike sunglasses from a then small internet start-up called ‘As Seen on Screen’ several years before they rebranded as simply ASOS and became the internet clothing giant they are today. This was several years before ‘Gossip Girl’ came to our screens so it was my first introduction to the glamorous lifestyle of the Manhattan elite. The film is a modern retelling of the classic French novel ‘Les Liaisons dangereuses’ and the cast is superb with Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair among others. It really is a excellent film and one i have watched countless times. It’s currently free to watch on Amazon Prime in the UK and if you haven’t seen it i can highly recommend.

Anyway suffice to say when I first heard they were going to be doing a musical version of the film and was coming to London I knew I had to go. I went with my favourite gay networking group ‘It’s culture innit’. It was at The Other Place Theatre, one of my favourite London theatres, as because it is a newer built venue has brilliant sights lines and no annoying pillars or blind spots blocking the view of the stage. I’ve previously been to see my friend Giles in the Nigel Slater play ‘Toast’ there.

 

 

‘Cruel Intentions: the 90’s musical’ is a jukebox style musical and included many of the songs used in the film, the soundtrack of which by the way is brilliant and another favourite of mine. The end scene of the movie where they use the Verve song ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ is iconic and one of the best bits of the whole film. They also cleverly slotted it many other late 90s classic pop songs including some Backstreet Boys, N’sync, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. The introduction of TLC’s ‘No scrubs’ and Natalie Imbruglia’s version of ‘Torn’ were particular favourites. I was interested to see how closely they stuck to the story/ script of the movie and they really did, as someone who can pretty much quote the entire movie verbatim, this was excellent, though i did notice they cut some of the slightly less PC words out. The two main stars Daniel Bravo as Sebastian and Rhianne-Louis McCaulsky as Kathryn were both superbly cast. The whole thing was funny, nostalgia filled and I utterly loved it from start to finish. Amazing film, amazing musical adaptation, brilliant.. It’s only on til the end of May, so grab your tickets while you can. I’m genuinely tempted to go back and see it again.