Review – The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time
Exposed checks out The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre.
An adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel by Mark Haddon, those who have read the book would understand my intrigue to see how this would translate to the stage. With much of the narrative focusing on the psyche of Christopher Boone, a teenager with Asperger’s Syndrome, I was interested to see how his complex mind and unique way of viewing the world would be staged. The answer involves lights, lasers, and an incredible amount of physical exertion.
On the opening night at The Lyceum in Sheffield the lead was played by Chris Ashby – throughout the tour Chris and other the lead Joshua Jenkins interchange, and after watching the play it’s understandable why. Barely standing still for a minute, Chris is thrown about by the (quite literally) supporting actors as he seemingly defies gravity making use of not just the entire stage, but its walls as well. The show is also tough emotionally, and not just on the actors involved. There are several moments that leave me with a lump in my throat as Chris handles the challenges of the story sensitively, imaginatively and wholly convincingly.
The story follows Christopher as he attempts to solve the mystery of who killed the neighbour’s dog. In doing so further mysteries are unravelled and we gain a glimpse into his family dynamics and the realities of living with AS. Simon Stephen’s adaptation cleverly makes use of ingenious special effects, placing the whole production within a cube which has the ability to light up with projections and reveal props through hidden doors. It’s worth commending the off stage members of the show, as each scene moves seamlessly from one to the next, expertly showing train journeys, crowded places and even outer space. It makes for a thoroughly exciting, and at times incredibly intense watch.