Review Roundup: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at the Apollo

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Review Roundup: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at the Apollo

John Tiffany's acclaimed production of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN opened at the Apollo for a limited season.

Let's see what the critics had to say:

Michael Coveney of whatsonstage: And at the core are the two original performances of Rebecca Benson as the blood-curdling Eli ("Would you still like me if I turned out not to be a girl?") and 18 year-old professional debutant Martin Quinn as Oskar, so gawky and gangly that he seems to collide with his own knees and elbows. He even manages to make "You smell like an infected bandage" an utterance worthy of Romeo. They are both several years older than Lindqvist's characters, so that one crucial element of corrupted pre-pubescent innocence is lost.

Lyn Gardner of the Guardian: John Tiffany's exquisitely beautiful and heartbreakingly sad staging of John Ajvide Lindqvist's cult Swedish vampire novel turned movie is set in a silver-birch world that is as much in an icy grip as Narnia. Christine Jones's eerie, atmospheric design even features a Narnia-esque lamp-post, one whose dim light illuminates something nasty: a body trussed upside down from a tree like a pig, so the crimson blood drains out.

Kate Bassett of the Times: ...the auditorium roof is now sealed off, behind a protective shield (decorated with silhouetted trees under a night sky). The venue has also undergone welcome refurbishments including a bright, newly gilded foyer. Meanwhile, on stage, John Tiffany's cast aim to be spine-chilling, playing out Lindqvist's tale of supernatural serial killings... Benson and newcomer Quinn are names to watch. Tiffany's collaborator, choreographer Steven Hoggett of Frantic Assembly, interweaves stylised dance sequences, and Ólafur Arnalds' score is a mood-enhancer, mixing orchestral strings and furious electronic beats... That said, even if Lindqvist's 2004 book and 2008 film preceded Twilight, have we now supped full of vampire sagas? Jack Thorne's dialogue for this stage version can sound bald, Mendus seems wooden, and the bullying isn't wholly convincing. Fiona Mountford of the Evening Standard: There's an air of wistfulness, longing and loneliness to John Tiffany's appealing, occasionally ethereal production, which is underscored by a thrillingly haunting soundscape from Gareth Fry. There are cherishable moments of tender, tentative romance as the two misfits disregard all practicalities and start to fall for each other. Benson is sensationally good, conveying just enough of an idea of otherworldliness and planting a note of carefully quelled confusion into every sentence Eli utters. Charles Spencer of the Daily Telegraph: Martin Quinn proves both funny and touching as the gauche teenage hero, whose divorced parents are both completely inadequate in their different ways and who is cruelly bullied at school. No wonder he develops a friendship with the strange, lonely girl next door who turns out to be a vampire. In this key role, Rebecca Benson manages to be scary while also conveying an impression of deep hurt, and the tenderness between these two misfits is beautifully caught.

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