Last week I was fortunate enough to see the National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and I was greatly impressed.
For those who have not read the book, Christopher is a child with learning difficulties, which mean that he has a hard time distinguishing emotions and telling when people are lying. One of his biggest concerns is lying and that is where the story begins. Christopher has come across the dead dog of a neighbour in her garden and instead of alerting anyone, checks to see if it is dead and lies down with it. He is then questioned by a policeman who tries to grab him and Christopher hits him, because he does not like direct physical contact, and declares he does not lie.
An interesting tale about a boy learning to deal with a world that he does not understand as he investigates this mysterious death. There are numerous interesting characters he meets along the way and his perception of the world is extremely unique.
Therefore, I would have expected nothing less from the production than to be an interesting take on the story. Although a few minor adjustments have been made to suit the purpose of theatre, the story translates perfectly from book to stage. The set is incredibly complicated and reflects Christopher’s complex yet intriguing mind.
The audience are brought into the production from the beginning through the seat numbers, something I am sure would have fascinated Christopher, and the open staging. There is no curtain and the stage has been built outwards over the band pit to allow for the set and lights. A highly technical show that is definitely more scientifically and mathematically based than art.
As a show it has transferred well from both book to stage and then from the National to the Apollo, which is a credit to the cast and crew involved. A great show for all the family however, it may be helpful to have read the book beforehand as it is not your typical storytelling play. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and although I will not give any any major spoilers, I will say it is definitely not to be missed.