Sunday, 20 April 2014

'Let The Right One In' Apollo Theatre *****

The sold-out Royal Court production of Jack Thorne’s theatrical adaptation ‘Let The Right One In’ is a welcomed addition to the West End and a spectacular one to reopen the Apollo Theatre with. The play originally produced by the National Theatre of Scotland that tells the story of a bullied schoolboy, Oskar, who is going through his puberty period, spontaneously encounters a girl which soon changes his life forever. Within the area that Oskar lives, a considerable amount of people have been maliciously murdered by a serial killer, that soon unleashes a comprehensive police investigation into the murderers. Instead of keeping with John Ajvide Lindqvist's Swedish background, it has been successfully relocated to a snowy Scottish forest and allows us to become enthralled by the beautiful set on the proscenium arch. The concept is horrific from the very beginning when one of the victims is trussed upside down with blood pouring out over the snowy surface. Furthermore, the play does not sympathise with the police investigation, and makes it extremely difficult to discover who the slayer is. Oskar’s life is particularly depressing as he constantly is the subject to bullying and his parents are quite dysfunctional, his mum is a frequent drinker and his father seems rather distant. This endeavours to create an emotional moment, which becomes a frequent occurrence throughout the performance. The girl who Oskar makes acquaintances with, Eli is a challenge as she is in fact a vampire and obviously only drinks blood for sustenance. In addition this is probably Oskar’s only chance for some kind of relationship. I found that Chakine Yavroyan's lighting design and Gareth Fry’s sound design added a chilling layer to the production, especially when Eli’s vampire personality traits become apparent. The acting by the entire company are sublime in every scene. Martin Quinn is amazing as the boy hoping for better life prospects Oskar. Rebecca Benson is wonderful as the vampire girl Eli. Gary Mackay and Susan Vilder are great as Oskar’s parents and Graeme Dalling is superb as the vile bully, Jonny. I thought that John Tiffany's direction and Steven Hoggett’s movement work are spectacular and the work is particularly captivating and will make you laugh and cry. What can I say about Christine James's design? It's a design of pure splendour and horror. The experience of ‘Let The Right One In’ was a frightening one and a play that you should purchase tickets for. 

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