The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time at Venue Cymru – Review
I’d heard so much about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and I was looking forward to seeing the National Theatre’s adaptation by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens of Mark Haddon‘s best-selling novel.
The play is about Christopher, a 15-year-old with Asperger Syndrome (AS) who finds Wellington, the neighbour’s dog, dead with a garden fork protruding from the dog’s body. This is the start of Christopher’s journey to find out who killed the dog and why!
But there are many challenges that Christopher much face along his journey of discovery, with his poor social understanding that causes him confusion leading him to react with major behavioural problems. He doesn’t like being touched and makes sounds, blocks his ears, hits out at people and will wander.
Christopher is a logical child and he uses the logic in two different ways, the first being for school and his love of mathematics and the other way to work out how and why things happen, playing detective.
The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time
The first thing that I noticed, besides the dog in the middle of the stage, was the design of the stage! It’s more like a huge box made up of graph paper and it looks stunning, but it doesn’t stop just at the look of the set design, it is also used in such an amazing way with the use of the lights.
Our introduction to Christopher is him finding the dog and us seeing his reactions after being questioned by the police, the stage comes to life with the various lighting effects from the police station to the houses in the street as Christopher, after being told by his father to leave things alone, travels from door to door to work out who killed Wellington.
As the play progresses we are treated to more wonderful lighting effects, projections and more as we see Christopher’s journey. Scott Reid puts in a powerful and wonderful performance as Christopher and his connection with his father played by David Michaels. With the lighting effects also comes the superb use of sound, music and sound effects at to the atmosphere of what you see bringing all your senses inline with each other to help you see and feel what Christopher is feeling.
Curious Incident is a journey not just for the cast but also for the audience as we were taken on an emotional, funny and shocking journey, I found myself laughing, welling up and leaning forward in my seat and getting myself engulfed in the stellar performances from all the cast in the play.
I’ve not been pulled into a play so much for many years, Curious Incident is a production that is not just about finding out about the death of a dog, this is a story about people, family and the relationships of those involved in the story. Curious Incident is a production that can’t be missed, it’s not just a play to see for a night out, this is a play that has you thinking and re-evaluating what you think you know about the world.
The character of Christopher and his journey shows us all that there is so much more to the world we live in and has you looking at things differently.
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is an outstanding story and play, with superb cast and production, this is a show that you must see.
The show is on until the 15th July at Venue Cymru. Book now via the Box Office 01492 872000.