Let the Right One In tells the tale of what is quite possibly a seriously unhealthy friendship between a young boy named Oskar and a centuries-old vampire named Eli. Oskar is lonely—living with just his mother in a small town, he is bullied by the other local boys and has no friends to speak of. Eli is a young girl who moves in next door to Oskar, but she is, of course, a little strange. Eli never leaves the flat during the day, she doesn’t eat lollies, she climbs trees like a monkey and manages to solve a Rubik’s cube in a day—despite never having seen one before.
So, before long, the two outcasts become close friends.
The play is truly a coming-of-age story for both Eli and Oskar; Eli teaches Oskar to defend himself and Oskar gives Eli a type of innocent love she has not had before. The two become inseparable as they protect and care for each other.
Let the Right One In is a stage adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel of the same name, written by Jack Thorne. Originally premiering at the Dundee Repertory Theatre in Scotland in 2012, the play has since been re-produced worldwide. This presentation by the Black Swan State Theatre Company is the Australian Premiere.
The set is a simplistic three-story structure with three rooms on each level, which creates a perfect square consisting of nine rooms. Though it is simple, it is used incredibly well to change the scene and direct the audience’s attention. This was honestly one of the best parts of the play for me—it is always awe-inspiring to see a basic-looking set transform and come to life with the help of some technology.The play is set in the early 1980’s and this means we are blessed with a killer soundtrack and some great dance scenes. This was my other much-loved part of the show. Unfortunately, my days of swooning over vampire romance stories are well and truly over, so the sweet Oskar and Eli scenes were just a little too cringe-worthy.
I honestly loved the presentation of Let the Right One In, it was creative and entertaining, and even startling at times. The entire cast was absolutely brilliant too, with those playing the youth in the show being particularly captivating. I would truly recommend that you all go and check out the performance over the next couple of weeks, whether you’re into child-vampire relationships or not, it’s worth the watch.
Let the Right One In is running until December 3. The Black Swan State Theatre Company offers cost-reduced tickets for secondary and tertiary education students. Check out their website for more information.