The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time – UK Tour

★★★★★

The acclaimed National Theatre production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time  has arrived at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. 

Based on the best selling novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by  Marianne Elliott, this production highlights important conversations around understanding autism  and neurodiversity. The story, staging, dialogue, set and sound in the piece give a small insight into  Christopher’s extraordinary brain and the everyday barriers that he is presented with. 

15 year old Christopher Boone, finds himself under suspicion for killing his neighbour’s dog, which  leads to a turbulent journey of self discovery; and a quest for answers. Will it be the answer that he  hoped for? 

There was many moments where the production reflected the sensory intensity of an autistic  experience, which was created through various different effects such as, high intensity video,  strobe lighting, smoke, loud intense sound effects and other clever design choices that fully  immersed the audience into sensory overload.  

The set was nothing short of phenomenal. What at first appeared as simply as a black box lit up  by a series of lights, became an incredibly versatile canvas that was morphed and changed  constantly throughout. The digital elements of this production were ingenious, depicting the inside  happenings of Christopher’s unique brain shown through projections containing numbers, images,  words, graphs and drawings, that were then transferred from the staging right up to the walls,  incredibly well done by set and video designers, Bunny Christie and Finn Ross. In act 2,  Christopher’s journey to London train station was particularly spectacular. The possibilities seemed  endless, with new scenes creating new avenues for the actors to interact with, climbing through  panels of the set and transforming the lighting elements into key components of the scene, a credit  to lighting designer Paul Constable.  

Talented David Breeds as Christopher Boone, completely stole the show. His performance was  flawless, and offered everything that you could want, and more, from the role. He remained on  stage throughout the entirety of the performance which was very impressive, and both his  emotional and physical range allowed for the audience to have a small glimpse into Christopher’s  curious and complex mind. 

The whole cast ensemble were key in creating the storytelling experience of the production. There  were many intimate moments of interaction between the performers and the audience, whilst they  also used the auditorium as part of their performance space. The sections of physical theatre were  mesmerising, and showcased the performers skills though complicated lifts that defied gravity  travelling from floor to wall. It was apparent that movement directors Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett, have incorporated Frantic Assembly’s unique style into this production. 

The conscious decision to cast those who have lived experience of neurodiversity, was fantastic. Sophie Stone was particularly notable, and gave an astonishing performance playing Christopher’s mum Judy Boone, which was heartbreaking and incredibly powerful.  

Everything about this production was engaging and innovative, containing important themes that are portrayed in an authentic and respectful way.  

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time is showing at The Liverpool Empire Theatre,  Tuesday 22 March – Saturday 26th March 2022. 

Due to the language in some of the scenes I would recommend that this performance is for 11+.

5 Stars.

About Author /

Laura has a Masters in Performance from Liverpool Hope University.

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