Let the Right One In

The other week I headed to the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue to go and see Let The Right One In, which transferred from the Royal Court to the West End. 

Now, I've previously read the book by John Ajvide Lindqvist so I knew what it was about, though I haven't seen the Swedish film or American remake that they did. It's always interesting to compare how your brain pictures something when reading a book with how someone else translates that to the big screen or stage.

Let the Right One In tells the tale of a teenage boy, Oskar, who befriends a new neighbour, Eli. There's something a bit "off" about Eli though. OK, she's a supernatural creature who lives off blood, though she doesn't like being referred to as "one of those". This is where Oskar comes in. Eli, you see, doesn't like getting blood herself and has a carer, of sorts, to kill for her. He's getting old though, and Eli needs a replacement...

Oskar is a lonely character, bullied at school, and feels that he isn't protected by his parents or teachers. Eli positions her relationship with Oskar perfectly to hook him in, though other interpretations of the story suggest that she has feelings for him and it's genuine love, not mere manipulation going on. I'll let you decide for yourself what it is! 

The Apollo is quite small, as far as London theatres go, which definitely helps in creating an atmosphere - I suspect though that Let the Right One In would have still have an atmosphere in larger venues. This is down to its clever use of the stage and its gruesome special effects. (Too gruesome in parts!) I won't spoil it, but the swimming pool scene was masterfully done, though I found the use of dance in the production slightly odd at times. It made sense for Eli to show her other worldliness, less so for the other characters.

Let the Right One In is bloody, but it's beautiful; it's tender, but it's traumatic. With mesmerising performances - especially from Rebecca Benson and Martin Quinn - Let the Right One In is definitely worth watching on stage. As someone who only ever really frequents the West End to see a musical, this is high praise indeed!

Have you read the book or seen the film(s) of Let the Right One In? Will you be heading to the Apollo to see the stage version? x


  1. I saw it advertised on the tube when I was there for WWRY and again for Grand Designs Live - I did wonder if it was the same story as the film but having never seen any more than the trailer I didn't really know much more about it. I've never particularly been a fan of horror films so had steered clear of the film - is the stage show scary or is it just suspense?

    1. It's suspense scary! I'd recommend you go and see it if you can - there are some great deals for it at the moment. :)