Based on Mark Haddon’s novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has been won more awards than I can count. Last week I had chance to watch it for myself. Wow can I see what all the fuss is about. This might just be the best show I have ever seen.
I’ll admit that before going, I had no idea what it was about. Despite having no expectations, it still managed to be far from what I expected in the best way possible. At first I didn’t know what to think. One of the best parts of going to the theatre in my opinion is the beautiful costumes, incredible set and the cool effects. Overall it’s just really great to see all the effort that has gone into a show. When The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time started, there were what looked like ‘normal people’ sat on chairs around the stage which didn’t appear to be decorated. It looked low budget to say the least. I thought I had ended up at a local theatre group’s show instead.
However, as the show went on I realised just how wrong my first impressions were. So much effort had clearly gone into this show but in different ways. Christopher is the star of the show and the play follows him as he investigates who killed his neighbours dog. He ends up finding out a lot more he didn’t intend to along the way. Christopher is a 15 year old autistic boy and the amount of effort that had gone into portraying the life of someone with autism was evident throughout.
What are the cast like?
The actor who plays Christopher is incredible. He portrays his autistic characteristics exceptionally. It’s carried out in a way that makes you really stop and think about how there is always more to a situation than first meets the eye. It gives a great insight into the life of those with autism and the difficulties they and those around them face. It’s eye opening and something I believe everyone should watch. It’s great to gain a little understanding of autistic behaviour. There was an excellent scene where Christopher’s pet mouse jumps onto the tube tracks and he jumps down onto the tracks to get it. As would be the case in real life, members of the public panic and don’t understand what he is doing. As the “train” approaches although you know full well then is no train actually coming your heart goes into overtime. It’s an intense, heart-wrenching scene.
What is the set like?
The stage ended up being more impressive than I first thought too. Interactive chalk boards and stairs pop out of nowhere. Additionally, something I realised afterwards is that those people who sat in seats of a prime number had envelopes waiting for them on their chairs. If their name added up to a prime number, they won a prize!
There was also part of the show where his teacher tells the audience to stay behind if you want to know how he worked out the math question. As we were walking out after the cast had been applauded, he came back on and did just that with assistance of the chalkboard stage.
What is the theatre like?
The theatre was small, and it was very modest in terms of costumes and set but that worked really well. The reason the cast and set looked so ‘normal’ was because it was attempting to display the ‘normal’ life of a boy like Christopher. This show really was a fantastic watch and like I said, a real eye opener to a good cause.
Who should see it?
As I said, I think everyone should go and see this and I cannot recommend it enough. I don’t think it is particularly suited to children. I think they may find it difficult to understand. There are moments where the show tries to give you an insight into the stress and panic inside Christopher’s head which was intense, even for me. Of course, it is meant to be. If it was difficult in parts, it wouldn’t have such an effect. However, these moments where he is screaming may well stress out young children.
Where can I see it?
If you’d like to go and watch it at the Gielgud Theatre, it’s running until the 3rd of June.