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Why Knife Crime Is Big Business For British Theatre

Some time ago I took my nieces to see Jack Thorne's adaptation of the Swedish vampire story, Let The Right One In, at the Apollo Theatre in London. There were a number of school parties in the theatre that day – and throughout the play's successful West End run. So, imagine my surprise when I saw that the production included a "knife dance" where the main character simulates stabbing a tree, his movements echoed by the supporting cast. Seriously.

I could see absolutely no point for this dance sequence to exist; it added nothing to the story, and what's more seemed completely gratuitous – a desperate attempt to seem "relevant". I read and liked the book and had seen the Swedish movie adaptation, but nothing in either work suggested that the story might be improved upon with a dance number involving knives.

I left the theatre feeling more than a little disturbed. I could only wonder at the conversation that led to its inclusion in the drama.