In 2008, a small Swedish film directed by Thomas Alfredson captured the hearts of fans who favor twisted, dark stories. The film was a simple tale focusing on a young boy and his mysterious neighbor (who turns out to have more of a bite than first expected). Unlike the popular Twilight franchise, Let the Right One In was not a mushy romance -- the story tackled bullying, alienation, AIDS anxiety, and sorrow in a carefully constructed manner. Although Let the Right One In did not go on to become a major commercial success, the film did inspire an American remake (Let Me In)starring Chloe Grace Moretz that was just as powerful as its Swedish predecessor.
Today, that simple, striking story has now found a home on the stage. Let the Right One In, the stage production, just premiered for the first time at London’s Royal Court Theatre. Directed by John Tiffany and Steven Hoggett (the same team behind the stage adaptation of Once), the play has already struck a chord with audiences and is rumored to soon head to the West End and Broadway.
The adaptation follows Oskar, who is now a hulky 19-year-old played by Martin Quinn (as opposed to a scrawny 12-year-old as he is portrayed in the films), as he becomes intrigued by his mysterious next door neighbor, Eli (Rebecca Benson), who only comes out at night. In this version, Eli is also older, though, due to Benson’s slight frame, she could pass for much younger. The rest of the story follows roughly the same structure of the films, although certain themes that are left rather ambiguous in the films are brought to light on stage. The stage for the adaptation is appropriately bleak, and Icelandic composer Olafur Arnalds created the ideal sinister score. The adaptation is currently wowing critics and audiences alike, so hopefully it will be just a matter of time until those of us in the States can be wowed too!