Let the Right One In: lyrical vampire fable on stage - reviews

Let The Right One In

Stage adaptation of Swedish vampire tale blends intimate romance with nightmarish intensity

LAST UPDATED AT 07:40 ON Tue 10 Dec 2013
What you need to know

The National Theatre of Scotland's stage adaptation of vampire story Let the Right One In, has received enthusiastic reviews after its transfer to the Royal Court Theatre, London. Jack Thorne's adaptation is based on the best-selling Swedish novel and hit film by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

The stage version shifts the story from the suburbs of Stockholm to a Scottish housing estate, where lonely teenager Oskar seeks refuge from school bullies and an alcoholic mother in his growing infatuation with the pale and mysterious newcomer, Eli, a centuries-old teenage vampire.

John Tiffany directs the play starring Rebecca Benson and Martin Quinn. Runs until 21 December.

What the critics like

This adaptation of an atmospheric tale of eerie vampires and teenage love is "beautifully nuanced", says Jane Shilling in the Daily Telegraph. With mesmerising leads, exquisitely measured tension and thrilling coups de theatre, the elegance and originality of the production cannot be faulted.
 
Let the Right One In is a romance yet also a horror story with "an air of dark magic", says Henry Hitchings in the Evening Standard. It's a vivid picture of adolescence and human failings, which contains bursts of nightmarish intensity.
 
The icy intimacy of this production justifies its theatrical reincarnation, says Dominic Maxwell in The Times. With brilliant, diminutive Rebecca Benson as Eli, and Martin Quinn's extraordinary professional debut as Oskar, it offers "a potent glimpse of the lure and the danger of magical escapes from adolescent reality".

What they don't like

"The gothic horror sits uneasily with a putative love-story," says Michael Billington in The Guardian. And while the original story must have had something meaningful to say about the contrast between post-war Swedish affluence and the unhappiness of an emotionally neglected younger generation, this deracinated vampire fable never provides spectators with quite enough to bite on. · 

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