The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime

I’ve seen so much theatre this year and I LOVE IT. Of course being in the capital city, I’ve got so much theatre on my doorstep. However, it’s costly to pay for theatre all the time, especially when I don’t work full-time.  So when I do see a piece of theatre, whether it be a play or a musical, I invest myself fully into it and enjoy every moment!

The other day I was invited by one of my good friends from Aberystwyth University, Chris Harris to see The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime.

This play used to be at The Apollo Theatre (before the ceiling caved in), but now performs at the Gielgud Theatre which is a theatre that’s homely and feels very intimate. Adapted by the great Simon Stephens, – who we actually met in person when we saw it – the play has since toured around the UK and I believe it will be doing the rounds again soon.

The stage design is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It relies heavily on the high tech used throughout the play, giving direction for both the cast and the audience, as well as providing projections of the action happening on the stage floor. The story itself is very powerful, with the lead actor remaining on stage for the entire time of the performance. After speaking to Simon Stephens and Chris, all the ‘Christopher’s’ that they’ve seen (the lead), plays the character slightly different. There’s a mixture of chaos and calm throughout and although Christopher’s condition is never stated, the audience get the impression that he’s different to others. The author describes it perfectly,

“Curious Incident is not a book about Asperger’s….if anything it’s a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way. The book is not specifically about any specific disorder,” – Mark Haddon

And clearly Christopher is a character who is different. He sees and understands things on a more literal level. He states that a metaphor is just a lie. When another character tells him to park up (aka sit down), he literally pretends to park himself, beeping and dropping the imaginary clutch. I loved the use of dialogue in the play and the characters within the story all had their little quirks and individual personalities that could be reflections of our own relations.

There were some lovely, tender moments between Christopher, his mum and his dad, that were often interjected with some light or dark humour. This was perfectly placed where the audience have a giggle after those heavier moments.

What made the entirety of the show was it’s lighting design and the technology used. It was great to see moments that had been built up along a few scenes, come to life. Like the train tracks Christopher puts down through the entire first half. When he comes to the decision to find his mum in London, the first act ends with the train set lighting up and moving halfway round the stage. I loved these little moments that really captured the audience and by the end, I could really feel the captivation and admiration they had for Christopher and his unique outlook on life.

I’d definitely recommend you see this cracking piece of theatre. You can buy tickets from here. They range from £18-£90.

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