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Let the Right One In
Photograph: Manuel HarlanRebecca Benson in Let the Right One In

This January, Swedish vampires fly into Brooklyn (via Scotland)—does theater love a bloodsucker?

Written by
David Cote

Winter theater just got a blood transfusion: St. Ann’s Warehouse surprised us with the announcement that it will present National Theatre of Scotland's Let the Right One In from Jan 20–Feb 15. Anyone who follows UK theater has been hearing about this stage adaptation of the 2009 Swedish vampire tween thriller, which was equal parts tender and terrifying. It’s the story of a bullied schoolboy who comes under the protection of a pale-skinned girl with a centuries-old secret. When it opened this past April on London’s West End, Time Out’s Stewart Pringle wrote that it “blends the imagery of the European fairy-tale tradition with something more urban and less campfire-cozy.” The creative team includes director John Tiffany and director-choreographer Steven Hoggett, two of the main forces behind National Theatre of Scotland’s sensational Black Watch a few seasons back. Tickets go on sale Nov 12.

It makes me think about past shows featuring foreign-accented connoisseurs of plasma. They’re not so common. A decade ago there was the unholy trinity of campy bloodsucker-musical bombs: Dance of the Vampires, Dracula the Musical and Lestat. In terms of straight plays, Dracula last flitted over the Great White Way in the 1977 revival starring Frank Langella. The same creaky script was revived Off Broadway in a disastrous production I reviewed three years ago here. Besides that, you have Conor McPherson’s monologue, St. Nicholas, about a theater critic who falls in with a group of undead neck-biters (which is in desperate need of a revival). Plays by one of our favorite Off-Off troupes, The Vampire Cowboys, have been known to incorporate platelet-sipping ghouls. But generally, vampires are more common in F/X-enhanced movies and TV shows. Let’s hope Tiffany, Hoggett et al. can thrill, chill and make me doubt my eyes, because I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this one.

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