I had wanted to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time when it first came to the West End, so I was thrilled when I heard it would be performing at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton.
I’d recently read the book by Mark Haddon and was completely captivated by the story of Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, and his journey to solving a murder mystery.
In all honesty, I had no idea what to expect from the play. Upon arrival, I was instantly intrigued by the stage setup. It was bare apart from a few props, a rather unfortunate looking dog, and an illuminated grid set against the four black surfaces.
Now I don’t want to give anything away about the story for those who haven’t seen or read it, but I will say this: Curious is a real mixed bag of emotions. There are moments of joy, sadness, humour and sheer panic. The portrayal of the character Christopher was fantastic. You couldn’t help but get swept up in his thought processes and unique perspectives on everyday experiences. In fact, the entire cast were brilliant. Although only a small cast, they morphed seamlessly from one character to another and worked together in perfect sync to create some truly memorable moments.
The highlight for me personally was the set and staging of the production. The seemingly plain stage was transformed into something truly mesmerising through the use of sound, lighting and special effects. Hats off to the tech team on this one. The stage itself is like a giant chalkboard upon which illustrations and diagrams are projected. And with not much more than a few wooden blocks to work from, the use of props was creative and clever. In terms of production, it truly is a spectacular sequence of visual and auditory delights.
Overall, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time exceeded my expectations. The dramatic yet uplifting story was portrayed perfectly through an innovative technical production and a very talented cast. Whilst I admit this play might not be for everyone, it does provide a fascinating insight into the workings of an Autistic mind. True to the book, Curious takes you on an emotional and educational journey that will leave you feeling inspired.
Have you seen The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time?
Here’s a sneak peak…
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