The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

28th April to Saturday 9th May

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We welcome to Edinburgh this remarkable play, which has been adapted from the 2003 award winning book by Mark Haddon, now acquired reading for GCSE. Directed by Marianne Elliott co director of War Horse fame, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a story within a story. Christopher Boone is a young man who referes to himself only as “someone who has behavioural problems.” He has an exceptional brain, able to work out complicated mathematical problems and remember minute details. When he finds himself under stress he recites prime numbers. He dislikes strangers  and the colour yellow. Christopher is also not able to interpret human behavior and emotion and avoids human contact only touching a hand with his father as “sometimes he wants to give me a hug, but I do not like hugging people so we do this instead and it means that he loves me.

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At exactly 7 minutes past midnight Christopher finds Wellington,  the dog of his neighbour, Mrs Shears, impaled with a garden fork. Immediately under suspicion he finds himself being questioned by a policeman his dislike of being touched causing him to lash out. He goes back home with his father  and is told to mind his own business.  His own detective work leads to the unlocking of long held family secrets that take Christopher on a terrifying journey both physical and emotional as he’s never left the street where he lives. Written as a first person narrative Christopher recounts the case, he has written it down in his book which Siobhan his life skills teacher has turned into a play.

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The stage design by Bunny Christie is amazing : it’s like being inside a great big cube on which diagrams, maps, rail-tracks, sign posts and cascades of numbers flit across the walls in all directions. It’s an inspired representation of the sometimes chaotic workings of Christopher’s inner world. The physicality of the cast really bring his thoughts alive, while the sound and lighting also used to forceful effect both deafening and dazzling a complete assault on the senses : especially during Christopher’s train journey.

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Joshua Jenkins is a perfect as Christopher, & cast complement him to an equal perfection. Jenkins is quite real with his behaviour and mannerisms, all recognisable on the autistic spectrum,  although I’d say we are all are a little autistic, dwell as we do more and more encapsulated in our own little worlds. Mark Haddon would say that “curious is not really about Christopher at all.  It’s about all of us.”
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Reviewer : Angela Nisbit

Posted on April 30, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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