REVIEW – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (The Lowry)

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Date: 17 November 2015
Upstaged Rating: 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has bounded into The Lowry Theatre in Salford on the last leg of its UK tour. Winner of 5 Tony Awards, this adaptation by Simon Stephens brings Mark Haddon’s original and poignant novel to the stage and it is an extraordinarily beautiful piece of theatre.

Christopher Boone is fifteen years old and lives with his dad in Swindon. He is a highly gifted mathematician who is sitting his A-Level in Maths three years earlier than most other young people. He is also a science boffin with an avid interest in space; he is a natural detective due to his exceptional intelligence and his ability to approach problems in a logical way. Christopher sees the world in a different way to most people because he has Asperger’s syndrome.

When Christopher discovers his neighbour’s dog, Wellington lying dead on the lawn impaled by a garden fork, he is driven to investigate the killing. Inspired by his hero Sherlock Holmes, using his systemic and methodical approach, Christopher decides to ignore his father’s order and set out to find out who killed Wellington.

This investigation uncovers further frightening revelations for Christopher as he struggles to make sense of the adult world that he has previously been shielded from.

Under Marianne Elliott’s masterful vision, Bunny Christie’s cubic set works perfectly to reflect the logic of Christopher’s mind and his fascination with the Pythagoras theorem – it is also completely functional, as a series of bright cubes are arranged to suggest a range of different settings and items – a classroom and a busy train station. The wonderful and moving performance is neatly contained within a massive mathematical grid which is animated by Finn Ross’ video design of constellations, maps and equations.

Joshua Jenkins gives a magnificent performance as Christopher – powerful, emotional and sometimes funny – we worry about him, we smile with him and we feel proud of him as he takes on the noise and bright lights of London. Geraldine Alexander narrates for us and echoes our emotions as we follow Christopher on his journey. Movement directors Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett choreograph energetic and compelling sequences which capture Christopher’s experiences perfectly – there are faultless time-lapses and instant scene changes.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a tremendous piece of theatre – a perfect collaboration with outstanding performances throughout. It is gripping and heartfelt – the perfect example of the power that theatre has to change the way that we view the world.

Go and see it.

-Kristy Stott

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time runs at The Lowry, Salford until Saturday 21st November.