Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Let The Right One In

Dundee Rep
5 stars
When a bullied boy meets the strangest of girls in the woods at night, 
they are instantly drawn to each other. Yet, in Jack Thorne's stage 
adaptation of Swedish writer John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel and feature 
film, things are even more peculiar than mere adolescent awkwardness. 
While Oskar comes from a broken home where his mother gets by with a 
glass in her hand, his new neighbour Eli has her own dysfunctional 
relationship with an apparent father figure who brings her fresh blood. 
With a serial killer on the loose, Oskar and Eli eke out a quiet form 
of co-dependence while all about them is turmoil.

Fans of Lindqvist's work will already know the outcome of Oskar and 
Eli's story, but  John Tiffany's exquisitely realised production for 
the National Theatre of Scotland in association with Dundee Rep 
transcends its source to become a rich and beautiful theatrical 
experience that is by turns gripping and tender.

The forest has long been a symbol of dark and dangerous awakenings, and 
is stunningly realised on Christine Jones' set that gives it the air of 
other-worldly fairytales. This is accentuated, both by Chahine 
Yavroyen's moody lighting and Olafur Arnalds' gorgeous music.  
Associate Director Steven Hoggett's impressionistic choreography too 
becomes as vital as some spell-binding technical wizardry.

At the play's heart, however, is Tiffany's heroic cast of nine, led by 
a pair of heart-rending central performances by Martin Quinn and 
Rebecca Benson as Oskar and Eli. As Tiffany's final production for the 
NTS at least for the time being, this moving and haunting piece of work 
is the loveliest going away present he could have given.

The Herald, June 10th 2013

ends

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