Magazine article Variety

Vampire Thriller Gets It 'Right'

Magazine article Variety

Vampire Thriller Gets It 'Right'

Article excerpt

Vampire Thriller Gets It 'Right'

One of the most resonant shocks of the powerful stage version of the cult Swedish movie "Let the Right One In" is one of the simplest: the bringing up of the house-lights at the start of the intermission. As the spell is (temporarily) broken, audiences suddenly realize just how deeply they have been immersed in the imaginative, unsetRight One in tling world of melancholia Royal court conjured by John Tiffany's Theater, London; 386 engrossing production,

The dark tale of lone552 liness and friendship - Pteywrighí: oh ancj a teenage-looking Jack Thorne . , , starring- vampire - may have been Martin Quinn, shifted from a Stockholm Rebecca housing estate to a chilly Benson Scottish forest of birch trees, but the mood and sense of mystery remain the same. It's still the story of bullied schoolboy Oskar (Martin Quinn) whose isolation is mirrored by and cured by the watchful but dangerous Eli (Rebecca Benson), who arrives in search of blood on which to live. Some of the surrounding characters have been cut, but only those with fond memories of the celebrated cat scene will be disappointed.

In the movie, the central couple spend almost all their time gazing at each other in fear, skepticism, wonder and, to a degree, love while barely managing to complete a sentence. Expressive in closeup, it would be problematic onstage. Jack Thorne's adaptation wisely recalibrates the dialogue for the stage, and the result retains the strangeness of the initially strained friendship, but adds detail. Best of all, it allows space for visuals that control the audience's emotions. The creative team not only stage leap-out-ofthe-seat moments of full horror but, more importantly, weave sound, Olafur Arnalds' bleak and bold music, light and dance to create dramatic tension underscored by permanent unease.

Regular theatergoers unfamiliar with the source material (the original novel, movie or U.S. remake "Let Me In") are likely to be alerted to the expressive potential of a production that is the latest in a succession of visceral collaborations between Brit helmer Tiffany and choreographer Steven Hoggett, whose previous credits include award winners "Black Watch" and "Once." Hoggett is now billed as associate director in recognition of how his stylized movement is a governing factor in how audiences read and respond to the work.

The directors create a wider range of emotions than the film supplies, which in turn creates fresh opportunities for the actors playing Oskar and Eli. …

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