On 20 June 2016, the West End production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time welcomed a new cast and as a fan of the play I thought I would go along and check them out.
Based on the 2003 book by Mark Haddon, The National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time opened in the West End back in 2013, after a successful run at the National Theatre and live cinema screening as part of the National Theatre Live initiative.
The play centres around fifteen year old Christopher Boone. An autistic boy who lives with his father after his mother passed away a few years earlier. Christopher finds the next door neighbours dog, Wellington, dead in the garden with a pitch fork through his body. At first a suspect, Christopher is questioned by the Police but then freed. Christopher decides to carry out his own detective work and helps to find out who killed the dog. But when shy Christopher starts digging up old wounds by talking to the neighbours he learns more than he really wanted to about his family and things take a turn for the worse.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a great play for schools to study as it deals with social disability and teaches people what conditions like autism really mean.
Set design is spectacular, a futuristic cube which lights up when needed and also allows Christopher to draw all over with chalk to explains points throughout the show. Cupboards built into the walls allow the cast to take out props when needed whilst maintaining a clean, clear stage. The movement effects are also incredible to watch and even had the most fidgety of school children around me transfixed in awe.
At the performance of the play I saw, the role of Christopher was played by Thomas Dennis (who plays the role at Thursday and Saturday matinees) in the place of recent graduate Joseph Ayre who is the main actor for the role. I’ve seen a few different actors play the role but Thomas was absoloutley brilliant and a joy to watch. The teenage school girls who were sat around me also seemed to agree with me and shrieked with joy when he took his top off during the show (who knew Christopher was a secret gym bunny!)
Jo Castleton joins the cast as school teacher Siohban with Nicholas Tennant continuing the role of Christopher’s father Ed. This is a very strong cast of a brilliant play that never gets old and is better every time I see it.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Brinkhoff Mögenburg
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME is currently booking at the Gielgud Theatre until 18 February 2017. Tickets