The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Updated: Sep 28, 2019
Having read and thoroughly loved the book I entered the auditorium with some trepidation, as it’s hard to translate something like this in a way that matches the expectations you’ve built up. I needn’t have been nervous however as this surpassed everything I thought this could be.
The story centres on Christopher an autistic teenager, who has found his neighbour’s dog murdered and sets about to find out who did it by “doing detective work”.
Some of the action is narrated by his teacher Siobhan. She has encouraged him to write a book about his investigations and this allows us to understand how he views things. This proved to be a really effective way to ensure important elements of the original book aren’t lost. At times Christopher explains more himself but at others it would be jarring for that to happen and this helps to perfectly bridge the divide.
Through the story we get to see how Christopher relates to the world around him and his relationship with others and how difficult certain things can be. For me, one of the most powerful scenes was in the second act where the projections, light, sound and movement come together in such an overpowering way that truly demonstrate Christopher’s trauma in a situation which to many is a mundane daily activity.
The lead role is played by Joshua Jenkins and it’s clear he’s researched this role thoroughly as he brings such sensitivity and warmth to the role that you truly care for him from the opening scenes.
The direction is superb. Marianne Elliott has shown something extraordinary/tremendous with what could be a confined set producing seamlessly moving action while pulling your concentration onto powerful points, with things that seem unimportant being pivotal later on. It’s done in a way that, while allowing such affection for Christopher, to also understand and care for those around him and understand the difficulties his behaviour causes for others.
The set is a cube with things such as houses lit up via their shape on the floor, a clever way to delve into how the protagonist sees the world. And this design avoids clutter on the stage and allows the action to move seamlessly between scenes that wouldn’t be possible with a more traditional set.
The show has such depth and sensitivity and as whole is a beautiful production and it’s an honour to watch. It’s rare to get a piece of theatre this compelling and moving. I’d advise everyone to see this. This deserves nothing less than a solid 5 Laura Michelle-Kelly star rating.
For tickets go to https://www.curiousonstage.com/ticket-information/