LET THE RIGHT ONE IN GETS 8.5/10 Bloody beauty

Let the Right One In
Let The Right One In @ State Theatre Centre
Directed by Clare Watson
Starring Sophia Forrest, Stuart Halusz, Ian Michael

8.5/10

Dark, delicious and delectably delivered, Let the Right One In isn’t merely one of Black Swan’s finest productions in recent years. It’s beautifully produced, spectacularly directed, gloriously performed and a visually stunning shining star in Western Australia’s recent theatrical history. This is some seriously unmissable theatre, holds appeal for all tastes, and is possibly one of the better ways to pop your theatrical cherry and get bloody in the best possible way. Twilight ain’t got shit on this OG vampiric love story.  And Black Swan knows exactly how to treat it right.

Let the Right One In
Let the Right One In is not unfamiliar territory for film fans or avid readers. The 2008 Swedish coming-of-age fang gore film of the same name was based upon John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel, set in 1980’s Stockholm. Black Swan’s adaptation of the love story utilises the same icy backdrop splashed with blood in a brilliantly avant-garde interpretation for the stage, with some of the finest stagecraft you are likely to witness by a WA production company. Utilising a Rubik’s Cube as the inspiration for the stage design is a stroke of creative genius that will resonate with fans of the original. Three floors high, and three deep, the sliding doors of the set allow for an exploration of story through multiple scenes, at times concurrently played out between the nine pods. Allowing for physical distance across the set to demonstrate relative space between characters builds upon the puzzle metaphor woven throughout the narrative.

Let the Right One In
The puzzles themselves lay within the relationships between characters, most notably by 12 year old vampire Eli (Sophia Forrest) as she befriends and defends the bullied, lolly-loving and completely lovable Oskar (Ian Michael). Utterly brilliant performances delivered by each of these young stars are nothing short of engrossing as their co-dependent young love blooms amidst a revenge tale which invites audiences to delight in the most entrancing of horror. Forrest’s physical presence is positively electric as she clambers across the three floors of the set like a spider monkey, then grappling victims to the ground like an ageing MMA fighter. Michael is nothing short of pure delight, exquisitely vulnerable and beguiling.

Let the Right One In
Despite stellar performances throughout, the star of the show indubitably lies in its set design and lighting. Flawlessly executed and visually glorious, Melbourne based lighting designer Richard Vabre has outdone himself in his debut with the company, with highlights including vivid imagery of blood on snow which proves indelible and enduring. Bruce McKinven’s set design is among the finest seen on a Perth stage in recent years and worthy of all plaudits it will inevitably reap.

Let the Right One In
Australian audiences have proven themselves to be truly ready for good horror in 2017, with recent cinematic hits such as Hounds of Love, IT, and Annabelle: Creation proving to be worthy contenders for hard earned WA entertainment dollars. Transferring the box office love from cinema to live theatre seems like a foregone conclusion, and the perfect device to introduce newly appointed artistic director of Black Swan, Clare Watson, to her directorial debut with the company. It is well worth the price of admission, and if theatre isn’t normally your jam, Let the Right One In is worth the trip. And what a trip.

NATALIE GILES

Let The Right One in continues at the State Theatre Centre until December 3.

Let the Right One In

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