The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a bestselling novel that tells the story of Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old boy who, after the vicious killing of his neighbour’s dog, embarks on an investigation like his hero Sherlock Holmes. It’s a book I’ve read a few times and absolutely love but what would the stage show of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time be like?
I always feel some trepidation going to watch the play of a book I love. What if they get it wrong, what if they change it too much, what if they change the ending? But I need not have worried. The play of the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was brilliant. I absolutely LOVED the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time , and so did my eleven year old daughter. It was a total assault on the senses and I loved every minute of it.
Based on the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon and adapted for stage by Simon Stephens (Sea Wall, Harper Regan, Birdland), the production was first brought to life on stage at the National Theatre in 2012 and enjoyed a lengthy run in the West End from 2013-2019.
The set was simple with an excellent use of lighting. At times it was mind blowing, loud and chaotic. A staged version of what might be like in Christopher Boone’s head. The London scenes in particular were so well done. The London tube feels like that to me from time to time anyway.
A grid lights up the floor and the walls of the stage like a box, revealing hidden doors and shelves. Projections are displayed and move across the stage. In one particularly incredible moment, Christopher builds a toy train set which then comes to life on stage.
The play is presented as if Christopher is presenting a play of his written story and there isn’t a single detail which feels out of place or superfluous. It’s tight, it’s brilliantly written and brilliantly acted.
You’ll need to stay behind after the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to hear a young man explain Pythagoras’ Theorem in detail, and what’s more you’ll want to.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will make you laugh, then cry, and then sometimes do both at once. Go see it, it’s truly wonderful.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time runs at the Liverpool Empire until Saturday, March 26. You can get tickets here.
You can read another review of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME AT THE LOWRY here.