The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time
We have to say, when the opportunity arose to review The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time for Musical Theatre Musings we were so excited. This is a show which is so talked about and something we have wanted to see for a long time. We are huge fans of a touring musical, show or play as it really does bring a bit of the west end into your home town for the evening.
The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time is based on the best selling novel by Mark Haddon. The story tells of fifteen year old Christopher John Francis, with asperges syndrome, who discovers the death of his neighbours dog at the very start of the show. Christopher then sets out to determine who killed his neighbours dog whilst discovering so many other life truths along the way.
It’s always amazing to walk into a theatre and see an iconic set on tour which has been pictured so many times on social media and on the television. This show really does give a whole new meaning to the term ‘black box’ with moving projection, compartments and clever lighting which immerses the audience into Christopher’s life. The incredible set design could quite easily have it’s own review so it is definitely worth a special mention here! Every single prop, compartment and projection had been thought over meticulously and used beautifully from start to finish. A particular highlight was the London underground scene which was created so beautifully with clever set and lighting design which could have so easily been a bit clunky.
The cast are used ever such a lot in this production from individual characters (each playing multiple roles) through to creating some fantastic physical theatre beautifully directed by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett all of which is done seamlessly and with ease. The astronaught scene and watching Christopher walk around the walls was a particular example of how effective this can be when done so well.
It would be wrong of us to continue this review without giving a big mention to David Breeds who took the lead role of Christopher. His attention to detail, light and shade, comic timing and tics were absolutely outstanding. It was clear from the second the show started the audience were hooked and as time went on were just immersed into the mindset of him and his life. Another mention must go to Siobhan played by Rebecca Root, a beautiful actress who created that teacher, young pupil bond which so many of us can relate to.
One slight piece of constructive criticism would be that sometimes diction could have been a little better in places. That said, this show isn’t really a sit back and let it wash over you kind of show so it isn’t surprising that we were latching onto every word making this more noticeable.
It was also fantastic to see the whole show being British sign language interpreted. Making theatre accessible is something we both feel so passionately about and this is a play which is so fantastic to see doing just that.
It is so easy to see how this show gets so much credit and publicity. If you have read the book you will just love it even more, if you haven’t you will fall in love with the story instantly. A truly wonderful evening of absolutely beautiful theatre.
Review by William and Jenni Rye
The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time is running at the Orchard Theatre until 14th May 2022. You can find out more about the show and book tickets here.