National Theatre – The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time
Wales Millennium Centre
Tuesday 2nd May 2017
For the last few years, you can’t fail to see the fuss made about The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time. So what’s the big idea? Is all this love justified? The answer is yes!
Based on the acclaimed novel by Mark Haddon, this book has been brought brilliantly to life by playwright Simon Stephens. The effort of making this production should receive the biggest ovation. Everything involved in this is a theatrical feat and it is no surprise that it has been seen by 2 million people across the globe. I do hope even more see it.
Christopher is a brilliant young man. The fifteen-year-old is outstanding in mathematics, though he experiences Asperger syndrome at such an intense level, he can’t function without the aid of his father or supporting teacher. When a neighbour’s dog gets killed with a pitchfork, it is up to Christopher to uncover who did it and other mysteries regarding his family. This is the most exciting thing to have ever happened in Swindon.
The sublime nature of this piece is the multimedia presentation. Marianne Elliot has achieved a wonderfully swift dynamic through her direction. The coming together of all the elements to stage the show are so lavish here that you wonder just how much it costs to make a show of this stature.
The set by Bunny Christie is a towering dotted, mosaic chalk board, that takes on so many guises. Paule Constable’s lighting helped aid the mood of the every frequent changes of scene and is crafted very well in its changing effects. Finn Ross has created incredible video work, masterfully depicting Christopher’s sensory overload every time he ventures further than the bottom of his street. It’s giddy work, making you feel you can’t bare any of it. There is a lot we still don’t know about mental illness, but his play has a bloody good go to make us feel and empathise.
All of the cast are versatile and inspiring, but most of our love has to go to Scott Reid as Christopher. In a tour de force performance, Reid pushes through the character’s unrelenting logic on all things, screams, tics, drifts away and only focuses on what he so desires. Acting like this is rare. Much has been said about only disabled people playing disabled characters, however this is proof that it shouldn’t have to be pigeon-holed. Acting is versatile and should display the range the performer has to offer. His Scottish accent may spike through at times, but it is a mostly convincing Swindon accent.
There are many teary moments and even the score by Adrian Sutton cleverly uses maths to help inflict his compositions. The music varies from loud club music to somber chill out and sublime moments of trance. Sutton should also have a lot of praise for his part here.
There are times when you go to the theatre where you experience something that moves you, something you won’t forget. Curious Incident is one of these occasions.
Seeing this is mandatory. Moving, mathematical and magical.
Rating: 5 stars
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time is in the Wales Millennium Centre till Saturday 6th May 2017.
All photos: Facebook.com/curiousonstage
Weeping Tudor Productions returns with their next project: Jamais vu [Brexit means Brexit]. Come join us at the Wales Millennium Centre on Wednesday 31st May as we musically trigger Article 50. Expect flashes of Gertrude Stein, John Cage, Steve Reich, Luigi Nono, poetry, performance art and the joy that is Theresa May. Don’t be left behind. Tickets available soon.
Related articles and info:
From the archives:
- Review: The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time @ WMC (April 2015)
- Video: Autism In Popular Culture
- Talking About Aspergers
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