I remember browsing the shelves in a Waterstones store that closed down many moons ago with my dad when he pointed out The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. He’d read great reviews and I ended up buying it for him for a birthday or a Christmas years back. But I never did. Over the past 5 years I’ve heard endless fantastic comments about the National Theatre production and I finally saw the show on Monday!
Before I start, I know I said that I wasn’t going to be posting on Wednesdays for the foreseeable future but I just wanted to get this review in as the tour ends in just 10 days and you need to get your bums to Milton Keynes if you can. I guess you can already tell my thoughts before I even kick the review off…
Christopher finds a dog. A dead dog. A dead dog stabbed by a garden fork. It’s not the happiest beginning to a play ever. Becoming fixated on the murder of the dog, Christopher is determined to solve the mystery and also uncovers another secret along the way.
With Christopher being on the autistic spectrum, we see a world with fresh eyes. Something that seems trivial to one person can become the world to another. Scott Reid translates the world as written by Mark Haddon and adapted by Simon Stevens onto the stage flawlessly. Each moment of distress is felt by the audience, with each little triumph being championed by all.
I’m a sucker for a beautiful set and The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time might just be the most fantastic set I’ve ever seen. The use of simple boxes, millions of pixels, an unbelievable number of LEDs and three pieces of chalk creates a street in Swindon, a train and a London suburb in which Christopher spends just a few weeks of his life. Such a simple canvas and a few props becomes the most wonderful of playgrounds for the cast and I was truly impressed.
I always thought my mum would be my first plus one to see a show (since most of the time I go alone), but she turned down The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time after seeing it and not quite understanding it a couple of years ago. However, my dad was keen to see it again and was able to watch it with fresh eyes. Whilst I think I usually manage to take in everything when I see a show, he was definitely thankful to be able to pay attention to the story and not just the set surprises.
Being a science girl myself, I loved the nod to A Level maths and it definitely brought back memories, not all positive, to my time studying the subject. Hang back at the end for a secret (which my dad almost missed the first time around); it’s well worth it.
What a beautiful show with a beautiful ending. I came away feeling fulfilled and excited to see what Milton Keynes Theatre, who kindly gifted me the ticket for this show, has to bring over the next few months. Actually, I already know and the line up is incredible! I’m definitely going to be stopping by again a few times.