The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is currently touring the UK and Ireland. Based on the novel by Mark Haddon, it follows Christopher Boone, a fifteen year old boy trying to work out who murdered his neighbour, Mrs Shears’ dog. I was lucky enough to see the opening performance at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury.
The Curious Incident is certainly an attack on the senses. The bright flashing lights, projection, music and sound effects really serve to immerse you in a powerful portrayal of being on the autistic spectrum. It is at times, quite overpowering. All of these combined give us the opportunity to delve into Christopher’s world, helping us to better understand his frustrations and barriers.
Scott Reid is the stand out for me. His connection, sensitivity and portrayal of Christopher is incredible. He nails the frustration, vulnerability and humour the role needs, keeping us connected yet at a distance. The ensemble work seamlessly to bring Christopher’s world to life too. With only ten cast members, the physical skill and aptitude required is impressive. Each part of Christopher’s journey is brought to life through different characters he encounters, physical theatre and fantastic storytelling.
The choreography and use of physical theatre serves to create contrast. There are moments of utter confusion, frustration, loud noises and lights, combined with moments of stillness, calm and silence. Siobhan, Christopher’s teacher, provides the main source of stability and calm in his life and is a welcome presence through the entirety of the play.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is unlike any other production I’ve ever seen. There are a few simply outstanding moments, in which I am completely immersed in the plot and concept of the story. Having not read the book, I worry about not fully understanding the narrative, but I needn’t worry. The production is exceptionally well thought out and executed.
As someone that works with young people with various different educational needs it is still completely eye-opening. A risky, yet effective portrayal of a young person dealing with the world and us, as the audience, seeing it through his eyes. One thing I take away from the performance is the idea of how life would be if we all told the truth. Would it be easier if we were all brutally honest and literal, just like Christopher?
Overall, I enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It isn’t what I expect and I am particularly impressed by the lighting and set design, in addition to the brilliant talents of Scott Reid.
Review written by Stacie Pollard.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is currently showing at the Marlowe Theatre until Saturday 11th March 2017. For more information on the production, visit here…