The Other Palace
11th Jan to 14th Apr 2024

Step-siblings Sebastian Valmont and Kathryn Merteuil, manipulative monsters flushed with their own sexual prowess, engage in a cruel bet: Kathryn goads Sebastian into attempting to seduce Annette Hargrove, the headmaster’s virtuous daughter.  Weaving a web of secrets and temptation, as the two set out to destroy an innocent girl – and anyone who gets in their way – their vengeful crusade wreaks havoc on the students at their exclusive Manhattan high school and the diabolical duo become entangled in their own mesh of deception and unexpected romance, with explosive results… Based on Roger Kumble’s classic hit film Cruel Intentions, starring Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair – this year celebrating its 25th anniversary – and also inspired by the French novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses”

Review by Richard Lambert, 5 Stars

How do you take a rather dark film and put it on stage as a musical? Well, this is the production that shows you how it’s done!

Everything about this production is rather saucy postcard fun. From the one-liners, the characterisations, the staging, the lighting, the plot. It’s a laugh out loud musical parody comedy romp through the 1st half setup. Some fab performances from the cast, all very comfortable in their roles and bringing a lot to their characters.

Special mention has to be given to Abbie Budden‘s vocals, Jess Buckby‘s attitude and Rose Galbraith‘s brazen solidity. But the star has to be Josh Barnett‘s (Blaine Tuttle) performance throughout as he nailed the moves, threw shade and sung his songs so naturally – incredibly charismatic for every second of his persona.

The choreography is superb in this production and enables the stage revolve to work very effectively in many of the scenes. The highlight scene in Penn Street station where Jonathan O’Boyles‘ direction, Nick Richings lighting and the haze effects change the mood from comedy to emotional drama. The stage is then set for the darker scenes of the production to play out as we step forward from that scene. It was genius directing to use that scene to take us deeper into the drama and the power play that follows.

This is when the Set Design comes into its own. Clever use of the stage revolve which has been painted as a chess board for the “players” allows the dynamism to accelerate with characters coming and going and observing and learning from what they gather, building up to the final exposure which erupts in full public view of the school and us in the audience who have just been flyered with details of the scandal.

This is the genius musical production that has to be seen. I’ve never liked Heathers, would not recommend Six but this one – defintely go as it’s superb fun and just brilliant!

Photo credit: Pamela Raith

Josh Barnett (Blaine Tuttle/Court Reynolds)Daniel Bravo (Sebastian Valmont)
Jess Buckby (Mrs. Bunny Caldwell/Dr. Greenbaum)
Abbie Budden (Annette Hargrove)Rose Galbraith (Cecile Caldwell/Marci Greenbaum)Nickcolia King-N’Da (Ronald Clifford)Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky (Kathryn Merteuil)Barney Wilkinson (Greg)
Craig Watson
Nathan Lorainey-DineenCharlotte O’RourkeVerity Thompson
Creative Team:Director Jonathan O’BoyleAssociate Director & Choreographer Gary LloydSet & Costume Designer Polly SullivanLighting Designer Nick RichingsSound Designer Chris WhybrowMusical Director Denise CrowleyAssociate Choreographer Matt NicholsonCostume Supervisor Hugo AguirreCasting Will Burton for Grindrod Burton
LISTINGS INFOCruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical Created by Jordan Ross, Lindsey Rosin and Roger Kumble Based on the original hit film by Roger Kumble Originally produced by Eva PriceThursday 11 January – Sunday 14 April 2024 The Other Palace 12 Palace Street London SW1E 5JA Box Office: 020 7592 0302 Website: Tickets: from £25.50** **The ticket price includes a 50p contribution from every ticket sold to a development fund to enable The Other Palace to develop and support new writing. Facebook: cruel Intentions musical UK Twitter: @CruelMusicalUK Instagram: @CruelMusicalUK Tiktok: @CruelMusicalUK website: The Original Off-Broadway cast of Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical is available to listen to on Spotify