If it’s a sassy, brash and somewhat wicked evening at the theatre is what you are looking for, then look no further than Cruel Intentions, based on the 1990’s film which was in itself based on the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses it is every bit as good as its previous incarnations. It also has a strong similarity to the juke-box musical & Juliet in its use of 90’s hits to punctuate the story and manages to insert even more hits into the plot with aplomb. In fact, the choices made add much to the frivolity. As quoted in the programme notes the songs were “greeted like long-lost friends”. And the audience at the Other Palace were lapping them up.

This is a production with so much to praise starting with the script/book created by Jordan Ross, Lindsey Rosin, and Roger Kumble, it includes some of Roger Kumble’s best lines from the film but adds even more sharp bitchiness and glee. Dealing with sexual conquest and manipulation this could have felt cringy, but it is so sharp it hits the moments, then moves on.

The direction and choreography by Jonathan O’Boyle and Gary Lloyd are hot and masterfully fills the small revolving stage with some powerful theatrical moments that are both exhilarating and memorable.

Set in High School stepsiblings Sebastian Valmont and Kathryn Merteuil prowl the corridors seeking out their next sexual prey and decide that their next wager will be for Sebastian to bed Cecile as revenge for taking Kathryn’s boyfriend, and Annette Hargrove who has sworn to wait for love before giving up her virginity. As the two predators Daniel Bravo and Rhianne-Louise Mccaulsky are sensational. They have great voices and ooze sex appeal. They totally relish every single moment on stage. Particularly impressive is the moment Mccaulsky delivers Kathryn’s Turn, when we see the real Kathryn and she gets to literally blow the roof off. A huge talent, that I’m sure we will see in many more major roles.

As the girls Sebastian is chasing Rose Galbraith as Cecile. Has all the gullible charm and is particularly fun once she has discovered to joy of sex, and her tongue in cheek rendition of ‘The Sign’ is true joy. As Annette, Abbie Budden has a crystal-clear voice that is perfect for uptight Annette and when her and Sebastian finally admit to their love for each other, their rendition of ‘Torn’ is both beautifully sung and heart-breaking.

Everything about this show is class and it deserves to have huge success. It deals with some serious adult issues and although it contains a lot of humour those issues are dealt with in a considred way. For a saucy nostalgic night out, it can’t be beaten.