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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Birmingham Hippodrome.

Photo Credit: BrinkhoffMögenburg

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time UK Tour. 
Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham


★★

Mark Haddon's best selling novel and now award winning production, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is currently on it's UK and Ireland tour. I'm quite confident in that like other book lovers the novel itself contained a lot of originality, humour and compassion towards a teenager's experiences with Asperger's Syndrome. Condensing the popular novel into a 2 hour 30 minute production is in itself a big ask but with the help of The National Theatre, admired for their many performances in the past, is something which will captivate the imagination of its audiences into an experience of a mind like many, only experienced by themselves. We follow fifteen year old, Christopher with an autistic spectrum condition as he undertakes the mystery of who killed his neighbour Mrs Shears' dog, everyone is under his radar and he's determined to get the answer he's after.

He records all of the facts in a book, logging all of the details in his mystery. Christopher has an extraordinary brain, he's brilliant at maths but ill-equipped and unable to interpret everyday life like anyone else his age. Christopher has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he isn't comfortable with being touched and doesn't trust strangers. His detective work, which we soon see is forbidden by his father, will take him on a daunting journey with his pet rat Toby that will upturn his world.


Photo Credit: BrinkhoffMögenburg

Christopher played by Scott Reid is comforting, he manages to posses the small traits with real understanding and sensitivity towards the condition. There was moments that were unbearably thought provoking in the moments of distress as he kneels with his face on the ground and moans, but also moments of awe as he showcases the courage and brilliance in his character too. It was clear that he had really thought about he wanted to portray a young boy struggling to make sense of his surroundings and the relationships intertwined into his life. What he does have is Siobhan (Lucianne McEvoy) his teacher who is the encouraging and fearless voice that Christopher needs to translate and help make understanding of  the world around him. Her comforting voice from various spots in the theatre throughout the play were really enlightening. 

The set design for the production is next to none, with a black canvas becoming a versatile playground that is transformed into different locations and key images with the help of some projections. The many scenes and atmospheres it was creating really enhanced the production, as well as the small boxes used to create different props. Your imagination was really required for this production to make sense of, I absolutely loved seeing how a white box could be transformed in seconds by the actors. We also witnessed Christopher transform the performance space floor into a model village unlike no other in a matter of moments and speed. 

The movement and transition through the scenes was flawless and the actors all had a part to play in creating those scenes. The choreographic elements were really poignant to the story too, helping to create that layer of imagination for various scenes again. There was a definite theatrical feel for the play whilst also maintaining its loyalty to the storyline. 

The cast are a collective of excellent and often supporting brilliance, there's some gorgeous work from the sorrow of the father (David Michaels who loves his son dearly but is hurt by him terribly. But it's definitely Scott Reid's raw and real performance that really takes the evening away. 

I feel like the performance overall gave me a new found understanding of the autistic spectrum, the challenges and triumphs experienced by people who live in a world like that portrayed by Christopher's character. It's a performance that will lift your spirits up to the ceiling but also pulls your heart strings right down to the floor. This performance shows the true importance of just understanding a little more about those around us. I loved the performance and would definitely see it again!

thanks for reading,
*I was gifted this ticket in exchange for a review, but all words and opinions are my own.

4 comments:

  1. I loved the set of the Curious Incident play :) I think that's what made it for me, you could really focus in on the character's personalities.

    eleanor
    elleanorwears.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah definitely, it's such a imaginative set, really draws your attention in! :) xx

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  2. I read the book and would love to see the stage play!! I've not read it for years so if I went, everything would be a surprise :) x

    www.gollymissholly.uk

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    Replies
    1. It's a really good book isn't it? Yeah the element of surprise is always good so I definitely think you'd enjoy it :) xx

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