REVIEW: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Cottesloe Theatre, National Theatre (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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REVIEW: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Cottesloe Theatre, National Theatre
VISIONARY director Marianne Elliot (co-director of War Horse) has come up with something quite spectacularly individual with this stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s bestselling 2003 novel.
Its protagonist, Christopher Boone (the mercurial and marvellous Luke Treadaway), recoils from human contact and revels in the simplicity of the mathematical world. Designer Bunny Christie’s set is akin to a giant grid blackboard upon which lights and white cubes constantly reinforce the regimentation with which he feels so secure.
This story, presented in the round in the Cottesloe, is both a family drama and a mystery, although Simon Stephens’ adaptation resolves the titular mystery of the dead dog at the end of the first
act, leading to a premature sense of an ending.
But this altering of the dramatic momentum does not take away from the impact of this, in many ways, sad tale of the mess of a fragmented couple, adults (an excellent Nicola Walker and Paul Ritter) whose emotions spill in ways in which Christopher cannot understand, so alienated is he from domestic troubles.
Stephens’ skill has been to adapt the novel’s framework – in which the behaviourally challenged Christopher narrates the tale from his world view – for a watching audience, so we are able to simultaneously contemplate what he, and those around him, see and feel.
Niamh Cusack stars as a steadying, counselling presence, whilst Una Stubbs is adorable as a well-intentioned older neighbour. The rest of the cast populate this world with an amusing headmistress,
local clergyman, Londoners and the rest, racing onto the stage and rapidly disappearing again, quite often reappearing a few moments later in a different
Its multitasking cast of ten have also been expertly guided by rhythm directors, Frantic Assembly’s Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett. Their choreographed appearances bring us London commuters and
the chaos of the capital as Christopher tries to use the train, appropriately given that the production is part of the London 2012 Festival which has been organised in conjunction with the
Stay in your seat at the end as Christopher appears after the curtain falls to explain the solution to a maths problem that he finds fascinating. By this point, you'll be unable to tear
*As part of NT Live, Curious Incident will be broadcast in Basingstoke’s ODEON at the Leisure Park on September 6, followed by Last of the Haussmans on October 11 and Timon of Athens on November 1.
Tickets are available from the box office on 0871 22 44 007 or online at odeon.co.uk.