Friday, 4 July 2014

Theatre Trip: Let The Right One In

Last night, I crossed another theatre off my list of London theatres when Rebecca and I went to see Let The Right One In at the Apollo Theatre. Weirdly, it started at 7.45pm so we killed some time first in a pub where I added another couple of pages to my novel (about which more later). 

Really none. Rebecca got an offer for cheap seats but I had no idea what the play was about, who was in it or who wrote it. I did find out in the days between booking seats and arriving at the theatre that it was about vampires, but as it turns out, that isn't strictly accurate.
Our first impression was good. We had great seats (tickets were reduced from £40 and were in the stalls rather than the circle) and when we got there, the stage was set as a forest. More or less full sized trees covered the stage — and quite a lot of them! If it hadn't been for the 'weird grey thing' (we didn't know what it was supposed to be), it could have been Narnia. There was even a lampost. What was particularly cool was that the actors periodically walked through the forest, setting the scene even before the play had officially begun. 

I'm always particularly interested in staging and lighting, and even aside from the forest Let The Right One In had some good touches. I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone, but I'll just say that the 'weird grey thing' turned out to be more than it appeared! 

On a personal note, I found the actors' Scottish accents reassuringly familiar. With both my parents and most of my relatives being Scottish, it's unsurprising that Scottish accents make me feel very at home. 

I haven't even talked about the story yet! It was good. Not great, but then I'm not really into vampires or anything of that ilk. The second half was better than the first, I'd say. 

There were some scenes where seemingly straight-forward actions became little dance sequences. I found those a little weird. Some of them worked quite nicely (the one between Oscar and his mother) whereas others I found confusing. It was certainly 'different' but I'm not sure there was any meaning behind the difference. 

I found the doubling of some actors confusing too. The police officer and the teacher were played by the same person, and it was never explicitly made clear that these were different characters. I thought, in a small village, that the police officer might also teach strength training once a week. It was only late in the play that I realised they were definitely different people. 

Final Thoughts
For something that isn't really 'my thing', I enjoyed it. That may have been more down to the staging and theatre than the story, though. It was miles and miles better than The Weir (which I didn't enjoy at all) but not anywhere near as good as Birdland (which was fantastic).  A solid 6.5 out of 10, if I had to judge. 

As an added bonus, it gave me a chance to add to my collection (is two a collection?) of scripts from plays I've seen. I don't know if this is a new thing, but I thoroughly approve of theatres selling copies of the scripts. It's an excellent souvenir and far more interesting to me than a programme.

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