Having being lucky enough to watch the 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' when it was touring provinical theatres in the UK in early 2015 here is our earlier review.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night comes to Hull
The National Theatre production of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' ran at Hull New Theatre from Tuesday January 13 until Saturday 17. We were lucky enough to secure tickets for the Saturday matinee performance.
The play is written by Simon Stephens and is based on the novel by Mark Haddon.
The book is a huge success although some readers give up and find it ultimately baffling. It is not a long book and having seen the play I may check it out-there is already a copy in our home.
The stage setting was both simplistic and clever. The cast took the part of doors, fridges and even a bed at one point. A chequered board which made the three sides of the stage provided unexpected doors for cast members to use to access the stage and props.
The story revolves around Christopher a 15-year-old mathematical genius who has Asperger's Syndrome.
As the audience are getting seated they can see that the stage is set with a large prop dog which has a garden fork sticking out of it. The play begins when the dog's owner finds Christopher with her dead dog.
Christopher has a very analytical mind and decides that he will play detective and find out just who killed the dog, namely Wellington, his neighbour's golden Labrador. His father warns him to 'keep his nose out' but Christopher is determined to get to the bottom of what happened. He does but gets a few surprises along the way.
There is comedy, some expletives, movement which is almost dance, a who-done-it atmosphere and some special effects. But all from the perspective of Tom.
There were children in the audience but not very young children. The swearing is not gratuitous but it does include the odd four-letter-word. The book is part of some school children's English studies and through the week in Hull school parties had been part of the audience.
An interval broke the performance briefly.
The play ended with Christopher declaring he could do anything and yes that was believable now.
Don't be too quick leaving your sets though. 'Christopher' returns to explain, with help from some special effects, why he not only passed 'A' Level mathematics but was awarded a mark of 'A' star.
Yes I would recommend this play for many reasons.
The cast are good and there is enough plot to keep you guessing at least for a time.
Asperger's is complicated but the play manages to get across Christopher's confusion, fear of being touched even by his Mum, his mathematical skills, his way of coping with the world and how he views it.
At times the sounds and lights are very in-your-face to highlight his isolation.
There was no warning about flashing lights but perhaps there should be.
Maybe the final words should be from the author of the book?
In 2012 Mark Haddon concluded "If I was particularly contentious I might say that Curious is not really about Christopher at all. It's about us.
Since we had last visited Hull New Theatre a statue of one of Hull's famous residents has been erected. It features singer David Whitfield.