Let the Right One Into the Dundee Rep theatre

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

It has been a novel, a Swedish film and an American remake, now Let the Right One In is to be reincarnated for the stage, with a new setting in Dundee.

The play, a National Theatre of Scotland co-production from the team behind Black Watch, director John Tiffany and choreographer Steven Hoggett, will open at Dundee Rep in June. Jack Thorne, Bafta-winning writer of This is England 86 and Skins, is adapting the teen vampire romance from John Ajvide Lindquist’s original.

“Jack has been relentless and has written a very filmic script which is impossible to put on the stage at the moment”, Hoggett tells me. “We asked him to do that, not to compromise. It’s very ambitious.” 

The action will be set in the forests and beaches of Dundee; the snowy playground and swimming pool of the original film will also make an appearance and vampire Eli will be given some supernatural gymnastic moves, “almost like there’s something wrong with her and so you’re not quite sure you’re seeting”, says Hoggett.

As for the violence of the original, the crew are currently deep in discussion about the best kind of fake blood to use and have hired a specialist in blood and bruises for the show. “There are some very gruesome moments in the film; it’s important that the show retains that. It’s about a murderous, insatiable appetite. It’s not schlocky but it is frightening. We want to instil real fear into the audience.”

There are currently no plans to tour the production. “But we were told Black Watch would never tour and here we are, still touring six years later”, says Hoggett.

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