SINISTER undercurrents and gothic themes flow throughout Harbour Theatre’s latest show, as part of a dark coming-of-age story.
Based on the Swedish novel and film by John Ajvide Lindqvist and adapted for stage by Jack Thorne, Let The Right One In focuses on the bullied teenage boy Oskar who finds a friend in Eli, after she moves in next door.
Both are from dysfunctional families and support each other during a frightening time in Oskar’s life, as a spate of disturbing killings rock the neighbourhood.
But Eli has a hidden secret – she doesn’t go to school and never leaves her flat during the day.
Let The Right One In was published in 2004 and adapted into a film in 2008, followed by an English language adaptation in 2010 under the title Let Me In.
“The story proves that as long as you have someone to support you, you can survive anything,” director Jo Sterkenburg said.
“There are several underlying themes that many people will identify with and enjoy exploring.”
Sterkenburg said she saw the film several years ago and was captivated by its dark undertones and relatable story.
“After reading the book, I looked for the screenplay and, to my delight, discovered it was available to be performed,” she said.
“I have always been attracted to dark, gothic themes and have wanted to do something like this at Harbour Theatre for many years.
“I wanted a challenge, instead of the usual sort of play with a square set and lots of furniture.
“Let The Right One In is an opportunity for the audience to imagine the horror through atmosphere, sound and lighting effects and, of course, good acting.”
First becoming involved in theatre more than 40 years ago in Quairading, Sterkenburg joined Harbour Theatre in 1981 and has been involved as an actor, director, stage manager, lighting and sound operator and make-up artist in a plethora of productions.
She has also performed at Melville Theatre and has numerous best actor and supporting actor awards to her credit.
Most recently, Sterkenburg directed the bittersweet comedy Sex Cells and the short drama Early Frost.
Her latest show hasn’t been without its challenges, including COVID-19.
“We were two weeks into rehearsal and then everything went into lockdown,” Sterkenburg said.
“But my cast and crew have been amazing, still wanting to be involved months later, and are coming along to rehearsals with enthusiasm.”
Let The Right One In plays at 7.30pm September 18, 19, 23, 25, 26, 30, October 2 and 3 with 2pm matinees September 20, 27 and October 4. Tickets are $25.50, $23.50 concession and $20.50 students – book at www.TAZTix.com.au or call TAZTix on 9255 3336.
Note: the play contains strong language and supernatural themes and is not suitable for children under 14.
Harbour Theatre is located at 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park.
LTROI-1: Let The Right One In features the mysterious Eli (Talia O’Brien, right) who befriends young Oskar (Charlie Young).
LTROI-2: Eli (Talia O’Brien, left) gets up close and person with Jocke (Mitchell Drain) in Let The Right One In.
LTROI-3: Hakan (Michael Dornan, right) shows Eli (Talia O’Brien) that he is prepared to sacrifice everything in Let The Right One In.
LTROI-talia1: Let The Right One In features Talia O’Brien as Eli, a girl with a hidden secret.
Harbour Theatre was formed in December 1963 by eight enthusiastic amateurs, led by Jimmy Quinn, a very competent and experienced director. Since then Harbour Theatre has entertained thousands of people. The variety of plays we have offered the public range from drama to comedy, whodunit to tragedy, and murder to farce. About the only thing we haven't attempted is Shakespeare. Yet!! Over the years Harbour Theatre has produced hundreds of full length plays, countless one-act plays and many Christmas Revues. These have earned us many awards in several of the play festivals around Perth.
Harbour Theatre initially performed in the Evans Davies Library in South Terrace, Fremantle (above what is now Dome). This was Harbour’s home for its first 31 years. Over the years the theatre grew and grew, and in the 1970's a major restructuring of the theatre resulted in the stage and seating being completely changed, thus allowing for larger audiences and better facilities for the actors. With an Associate Membership in the hundreds, Harbour Theatre has always been self sufficient, never having to call on Government or other funding bodies for support.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, in March 1995 we were forced to find another venue at which to perform. As a temporary measure, Harbour Theatre performed at the Tivoli Theatre, Applecross, for about 18 months, while searching for a location back in Fremantle.
Finally, at the end of 1996, Harbour Theatre relocated back in Fremantle to the Princess May Building. The next few weeks were very hectic as the spaced we leased had to be converted into a theatre. Our members raised the money and we built the stage and seating and installed the lighting, in time for our last play of 1996. The Princess May Building became our home for the next 15 years.
In 2007 the Fremantle Education Centre (who leased the Princess May Building from the City of Fremantle) refused to re-negotiate a lease and then in 2009 they received a Government Grant to build offices in the area occupied by the theatre. Despite months of lobbying State government representatives and local councillors, we were forced to move. The City of Fremantle then offered to rent us the Port Cineaste Building as a temporary venue. So, at the end of 2009, with the blood, sweat and tears of 33 of our members, we dismantled our beautiful theatre (and the only purpose built theatre in Fremantle) and moved lock, stock and barrel to the Port Cineaste Building. The major task of converting a cavernous cinema into an intimate performing arts space has been an enormous job undertaken by a number of our hardworking and dedicated members and involved many, many hours of volunteer labour.
Against all the odds Harbour Theatre lives to perform another day and we look forward to bringing you many more years of exciting and entertaining theatre
P: 0403 710 956