Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

King’s Theatre, Glasgow
Until: Saturday 22nd August 2015
Performance reviewed: Tuesday 18th August 2015
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  

The multi-award-winning 2003 novel by Mark Haddon has been adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens  and directed by Marianne Elliot. The play is also multi-award-winning, having won seven Oliver Awards in 2013.

As someone who has read (and loved) the book and was aware of how many awards the production has won, it was difficult not to walk into the theatre with extremely high expectations.

The expectations were exceeded in a huge way. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the most visually stunning productions I’ve seen and the adaptation is very well done, staying true to the novel but with some slight  amendments and updates.

Christopher Boone is a fifteen-year-old boy with ‘behavioural difficulties’ and the story is told as a play-within-a-play, as his teacher, Siobhan (Geraldine Alexander) reads excerpts from a book he was asked to write in class. The book tells the story of how Christopher finds his neighbour, Mrs Shears’ (Clare Perkins) dog, Wellington, murdered with a garden fork one night. He makes it his aim to find out who the dog murderer is and to write it all in his book, but his detective work leads to him finding out a lot more than he initially planned. The play also shows how Christopher copes with the challenges life throws at him.

Joshua Jenkins as Christopher is absolutely outstanding. He plays the part brilliantly with great sensitivity and had me laughing out loud, sympathising and with a heart full of pride by the end. It is difficult for an actor to truly grip their audience but Joshua Jenkins seems to do this with ease, just by playing his character so well.

Stuart Laing as Christopher’s Dad, Ed, and Gina Isaac as his mum, Judy, are also wonderful, realistically portraying parents who love their son very much yet at times struggle to cope with his behaviour.

The set by Bunny Christie is extremely inventive and jaw-dropping, the sound by Ian Dickinson, video by Finn Ross and lighting by Paule Constable add to an overall sensory sensation that keeps you enthralled throughout. It really has to be seen to be appreciated.

All of the actors are brilliant with all but Joshua Jenkins playing more than one role. The movement sequences are beautiful and inventive and the adaptation ensures that no important aspects of the novel are missed.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is an outstanding piece of theatre in every aspect – writing, cast, set, sound, video and lighting. It deserves every one of the five stars I’ve awarded it and more and really should not be missed while it is in town.

The next Scottish date on the tour is Aberdeen His Majesty’s Theatre from 1st – 5th September.

For tickets, visit: Curious Incident Glasgow Tickets or Curious Incident Aberdeen Tickets.