Oblique Land
Alper Derinbogaz, SALON

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“Let the Right One In” is a theatrical adaptation that is based on a book by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Lindqvist’s story was adapted to cinema by the director Tomas Alfredson who takes the story not like a vampire horror but rather puts emphasis on the relationships, emotions and weaknesses of the main characters, Oskar and Ellie.  

We were excited to receive an invitation from the DOT Theater team for designing the stage of “Let the Right One In” play, the theatrical adaptation of Jack Throne. As soon as we read the script, the idea of creating a dialogue between the space and performance emerged. Within the given limits of the stage we were free to reinterpret the architecture of the play.

In the story, the main characters Oskar, a 12-year-old schoolboy, and Ellie, a young girl become friends. Ellie has recently moved into the town with a man who we think is her father, or a lover who has grown old while she remains being young. We find out that this man helps Ellie for her constant needs.

Topography As A Storyteller

We approached this performative challenge as an architectural production that explores its own context. The dimension of the stage, the view and the placement of the audience were the parameters that guided the design process. We pushed the limits of the spatial borders and redefined the expansion of the stage.

The floor of the Oblique Land is broken in half with the pool at the center that means in total there are three different parts. In addition to being modular, the two modules can also rotate around their static hinges. When the rhythm of the narration change as a result of the characters interaction, Oblique Land begins to move and rotate and we actors play along this architectural movement.

When the three modular parts of the topography unify, Oblique Land provides a smooth arrival until the peak point. These are the special moments that also imply the times when Oskar and Ellie complete each other.

Alper Derinbogaz: “The steel structure transforms itself into a topography that represents not only the different spatial experiences but also the emotions and the differences of the play characters. Oblique Land is not only a stage design but rather an architectural experience that works both in horizontal and vertical spatial dimensions. It is a topography in flux.”

Structural Design

The design intends to reinterpret the theater’s stagnant stage repertoire and to articulate it as a dynamic landscape rather than a background. This dynamic landscape, as we call Oblique Land, consists of 19 different modules. These modules standing on a mesh structure, reinforced with bolted joints can be interconnected and separated from scene to scene according to the specific moments of the play.

The direction of Murat Daltaban was based on the flexibility that has been possible with this modulation as well as its exploration. Daltaban used the inclined surfaces for various type of spatial narration, such as a frozen pond, a facade or interiors in order to strengthen the feeling of the space at certain moments. Therefore the structure and the narration have an intimate contact throughout the play, beyond visible.

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