Monday, June 20, 2016
I'll admit, it has been a decade since I've read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime so the once sharp details are now reduced to some blurred thoughts that can be summed up as sweet but sad, charming, funny, and compelling. In light of this information, I was interested to find out if the play lived up to the memory of Mark Haddon's novel in my head.
In short, yes it did. The play adaptation took on Christopher's Aspergers with much success. His triggers, heightened by radio static and flashing lights allows the audience to experience a sliver of what Christopher goes through. Joseph Ayre played a convincing Christopher Boone, highlighting his autistic tendancies, but not making him a parody. His little nuances, turning corners at a perfect ninety degree angle, the brash unsympathetic way in which he asks his detective questions mixes with his graceful movements across the stage and his normally complicated relationship with his father.
The real standout is the way the script, staging, and acting highlight the sense of urgency Christopher feels throughout the play. Every character interaction, every static noise, every flash of lighting had the audience collectively tensing in their seats, hurtled along this journey of discovery.
There is a meta moment in the middle of the play where Siobhan, Christopher's social skills teacher, explains to him that the audience did not want to hear the explanation to his complicated maths problem. If he wanted to explain it, he could do so after the play to the audience members who stay behind to listen. After the final bows, Christopher returned to give his explanation to a still packed theater. This scene summarizes the play: engaging, tooth achingly sweet, and caters to audiences of all ages.
Original review source: