The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has long been a favourite of mine. I first
read devoured it some thirteen or so years ago as a fairly newly qualified teacher with more than a passing interest in autism. I’ve read many books, both biographical and fictional, focused around autism but this one has really stayed with me.
Kirst and I saw a National Theatre live stream of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the cinema in Leeds a few years ago and loved it but had yet to actually see it performed live on stage. I may have squealed when the invitation to go and see it at The Lowry arrived in my inbox and I quickly emailed Kirst to see if she was free to come with me (sorry Dave!).
So, Wednesday night saw Kirst and I attend the opening night of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at The Lowry. Mid-week gin and theatre with my best friend is always going to be a winner but when it’s to see one of your all time favourite novels performed on stage, hopes are high for a good night!
From the off the show is an assault on the senses – loud music, bright flashing lights and aggressive swearing litter the performance but this only serves to fully immerse you in the story and it’s powerful portrayal of what it is to be on the autistic spectrum.
Everything about the National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is incredible – the fast pace and frantic streaming of prime numbers up the dark walls of the set combined with loud music and spectacular acting from Scott Reid combine to allow the audience to really connect with the fear and frustrations Christopher contends with as he tries to solve the mystery of who killed Wellington!
In stark contrast, the moments of quiet bring really powerful emotion to the stage and I felt tears trickle down my cheeks on more than one occasion. Christopher’s teacher, Siobhan (Lucianne McEvoy) was a calming influence throughout the performance and reminded me of why I’ve always loved working with children and young people on the autistic spectrum.
Obviously I don’t want to go into details and spoil the story for you if you don’t already know it, but I implore you to go and see it if you get chance. It’s a truly wonderful performance, fully deserving of the standing ovation received on opening night. I laughed, I cried, I empathised. I’d watch it again tomorrow given half a chance.
*We were invited to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at The Lowry free of charge for the purposes of writing this review. All thoughts and opinions remain my own*