Review: Let The Right One In (★★★½)

3-5-stars

Let The Right One In marked SUTCo’s return after the Easter break that brought a unique and interesting show to an already incredibly diverse year. With a remarkable set as well as an abundance of special effects made this show stand out as one of SUTCo’s most visually distinctive over the past year. Despite this, the show suffered from pacing issues as well as, at some times, a weak script that prevented it becoming the powerhouse show it aspired to be.

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Let The Right One In told the tale of a regularly bullied and meek young boy, Oskar, as he befriends a new and rather remarkable ‘child’ called Eli; who has just moved in next door. From the very start of the show, you could sense a sinister edge to the piece as we witness a vicious attack occurring in the forest. It isn’t until later that we receive insight into the murder and the reasons behind it. Oskar later discovers that Eli is, in fact, a vampire and isn’t actually the young girl that she appears to be.

Upon discovering that Eli is a vampire, I was taken aback by how tactfully and well done it was pulled off. No capes and bats here, but rather a well realised and modern interpretation of what a vampire could be. There were moments throughout that show that lost me, such as a scene where Eli enters a home she has not been invited into, only for it to cause her great pain as her eyes bled. This was a problem on my behalf as I was unaware of the mythology that surrounded that idea; one which makes the title clear and much more poignant.

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Despite my misunderstanding, the cast did a stellar job with the script that was on offer. Due to the script being translated, there were some issues with some of the dialogue feeling a tad off and unnatural. However, Eli’s (Georgia Bell) development from shy outcast to Oskar’s (Tom Boxall) best friend was bittersweet and touching; culminating in a lovely scene where they share a bed together, much to Oskar’s glee.

The show did suffer from repetition at times, especially regarding characters such as the bullies and the shopkeeper; where some of their scenes felt all too similar. The main issue with this was the blackout transitions between all of these scenes that strongly affected its pace. The way the stage was laid out seemed perfect for quick transitions between different environments, hence, the additions of blackouts felt unwarranted.

Despite a few flaws, the tone the show created incredibly well executed. There was a consistent eerie feel about everyone in the show. I think the lack of clear motivations that some characters had made you suspicious of everyone that surrounded Oskar. From being pushed around by the bullies to being pulled close by his mother, the lack of history elevated the mysteries that surrounded Oskar as well as Eli.

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Let The Right One In was another strong entry in this year’s catalogue and offered something that was not only different but very unique. Regardless of a few issues throughout, the show does a fantastic show of not only pushing the boundaries of the sort of show that SUTCo can produce but also expanding on the versatility of the space.

Photographs by JSP https://www.facebook.com/joesampriest/?fref=ts

 

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