★★★★ | Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It’s not your usual type of play.CREDIT: Supplied
First of all, look at the title – it’s a mouthful. If you knew nothing about what the play is all about, the title kind of sort of gives it away, but not really.
The show, based on the 2003 book of the same name by Mark Haddon, premiered at London’s National Theatre in August, 2013. It opened to more than rave reviews and won an incredible seven Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Play. The following year (2014), the play transferred to the West End, where’s it been playing to almost sold-out houses ever since. A production opened up on Broadway in 2014 and won a total of 17 theatre awards, including five Tony Awards. Just as the West End production, the Broadway production is still playing.
So what’s the fuss all about? As mentioned above, it’s not your usual type of play. There is not changing sets, no show tunes, no fancy costumes – it’s pretty much bare bones, what you see on stage is what you get. It’s about 15-year old Christopher Boone and an event that takes place that leads him to do some investigation work. He’s not just any typical 15-year old boy, he’s autistic and a mathematical genius. He’s so smart he can compute complex arithmetic calculations in his head. He’s not well equipped to interpret daily life, and he seem to be afraid of his own shadow. He doesn’t like to be touched by other people, and is suspicious of people around him.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time tells it’s story through Boone’s eyes. The events his experience, and his experience alone. And the relationships with his father, mother, teacher and neighbours are all unique to themselves. And with the stage all done up in lights, it makes for a very surreal and sensational theatre experience. On the recent night I saw it, Sion Daniel Young had the unenviable job playing Boone. But he nails it. It’s a bravura knockout performance that matches and or surpasses anything seen in the West End, or Broadway for that matter. So go and see what the fuss is all about and why people keep on talking about this play. It’s run at London’s Gielgud Theatre has been extended until 29 October 2016 – so there’s no excuse.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time plays at the Gielgud Theatre until 29th October 2016
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.