The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a crime mystery like no other. The story’s main character, Christopher, sees the world a little differently to most people and our insight into the story is completely from Christopher’s point of view, which would perhaps make fans of the book wonder how it could be successfully translated to the stage.
As the story unfolds we follow Christopher as he not only solves one mystery – who killed Wellington the dog with a garden fork? – but also another more personal mystery that he did not even realise needed solving.
The play perfectly captures Christopher’s view of the world and through dramatic technique with use of lighting, sound, diagrams and human movement the stage becomes an embodiment of Christopher’s mind. The stage literally lights up with a vivid and creative visual of the way in which he translates human behaviour, his confusion at the simplest of human interactions and the occasional chaos in which he finds himself trying to navigate – making it a fabulous translation of the book.
The scene on the London Underground was a personal favourite of mine. The lighting and sound effects were outstanding in this sequence and perhaps the best portrayal of Christopher’s inner struggle, confusion and bravery as he finds himself completely out of his comfort zone.
Joshua Jenkins was mesmerising as Christopher and captures his spirit perfectly. He portrays Christopher’s matter of fact demeanour making the show humorous with a good measure of earnest seriousness and determination, which is crucial in conveying the troubles and confusion that Christopher is enduring. While reading the book it can be difficult to remember that there are indeed other characters that are struggling, brave and determined. Stuart Laing as Christopher’s father Ed manages to capture the essence of a man who is trying his best to be a good father and a good man despite the difficulties of bringing up Christopher and dealing with his own personal woes.
This is a story about solving a mystery but also a story about coming of age and an exploration of the fact that no matter who you are and the struggles that you face, anything can be accomplished – with a little bravery.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime is playing at The Hippodrome until Saturday 8th August. For more information visit www.atgtickets.com