This year so far seems to be the year of going to see, or planning to see live shows. I’m totally, utterly A-OK with that!
We have The Woman in Black and Ricky Gervais on the horizon in May, and Hamilton booked in for next year, but we recently went to go and see something very different in the form of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at the Gielgud Theatre in London (which is stunning by the way!).
I have to admit, I was apprehensive because I read the book at school and really struggled to get into it. I wondered how they would turn the source material into a production that really stood out. My theatrical standards are pretty high after seeing The Cursed Child at the end of last year!
But I wasn’t disappointed at all!
If you’re not sure of the story, it’s about a boy called Christopher who has what is described in the book as behavioural difficulties. Aspergers, or high-functioning autism are referenced on the book’s blurb but it’s never outwardly confirmed. The story is told from his perspective, which on paper makes an interesting and occasionally difficult to follow narration (this is from memory as a child reading it, maybe I would appreciate it more now as an adult).
The story starts with Christopher discovering his neighbour’s dog has been murdered – and he is determined to find out what happened to poor Wellington.
Keeping the soul of the book throughout the play, you really do get a glimpse into Christopher’s way of thinking, feeling and interacting with others. In place of words on paper, you get the narration read occasionally by Christopher’s teacher, as well as his own actions and emotions played out through dialogue as well as really very impressive stage design.
Without giving too much away, the use of light and sound brings the story to life in a way I never expected. Whilst I can’t be sure that the representation of Christopher’s feelings is truly reflective (as my closest experience with his behaviours is from a cousin who has Asperger’s), it does give you an insight into how noisy and confusing it is inside of Christopher’s head.
The performances across the board are fantastic – particularly Christopher who was played by Thomas Dennis. Plus, the stage design was a real spectacle from beginning to end!
If you get the chance to catch The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, I really recommend you do. We saw it in London’s West End, but it is also being performed across the UK and Ireland, as well as in the US.