The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: A Spectacle like No Other
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a wondrous production full of stunning choreography and dazzling projections. But what made it so special wasn’t just the extraordinary production elements; it was the one-of-a-kind story about a one-of-a-kind kid at the heart of it all. It's a simply remarkable production in every way, shape and form.
Based on the 2003 Mark Haddon novel of the same name, The Curious Incident… follows 15-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone in his investigation into the murder of his neighbour’s dog. As he hunts for clues, he uncovers more than he bargained for, and we learn more about what exactly makes him tick. The book was heavily acclaimed on its release for its writing and ground-breaking depictions of mental disorders (it’s never explicitly stated what Christopher suffers from, but he shares many symptoms with individuals on the Autism-spectrum). For anyone that has read the book, it might be hard to imagine how it could possibly be translated onto a stage at all, let alone a world-class, Olivier-and-Tony-award-winning touring production that has had stints on Broadway and West End. But finally, the original London production has come to Australia for us all to find out- and it’s not an opportunity to miss.
The play puts the audiences right into the mind of Christopher, with spectacular visual, sound and lighting design bringing it all to life. When the production elements are this high quality, it makes for a truly immersive experience. Couple that with some top class acting and you have a truly comprehensive theatre experience. On the night I attended, Kaffe Keating (the alternate) portrayed Christopher, and he absolutely shone in the role, brilliantly encapsulating all the highs and lows the role demands. Julie Hale was beautifully sympathetic as the paraprofessional Siobhan, while Stuart Laing and Emma Beattie put on heart-wrenching performances as Christopher’s parents.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is full of twists and turns, all held together by the alluring mind at the centre of it all. The audience is taken on a wild ride full of excitement and wonder, but also heartbreak and distress. You’ll will leave with a newfound perspective on life- not to mention mathematical knowledge. As much as it is my job to try put experiences in to words, I feel like nothing can do justice to this production. Get curious, because this is a show that should not be missed.