Last night (March 6) was the opening show of the National Theatre’s ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury.
The critically acclaimed, award winning show, with it’s international success, brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to life-and the outcome is beyond anything the imagination could muster.
Upon arrival, the audience were met with a one set stage, lit up in futuristic fashion. To those who haven’t seen this show before, or even read the book, it would be hard to predict how this stage would fit in with the story about to unfold.
If anything, it is the set and the lighting, alongside the roaring acoustics, that gives this production it’s base.
Scott Reid, plays the main character, Christoper Boone. Scott, with his strong Scottish accent in real life, manages an English accent with ease. His portrayal of Christopher, a 15 year old Asperger Syndrome sufferer is one of the most powerful performances I’ve ever seen.
Christopher is clever-beyond clever, but also irrational and short tempered-far too aware of his surroundings-the noises and people around him.
The only people who can truly rationalise with him are his father, Ed, and his teacher, Siobhan.
Ed Boone, Christopher’s father, is played by David Michaels. A highly emotional man, trying to deal with his wife’s disapperance, plus his son’s constant issues, you can understand his angry outbursts. David depicts Ed’s constant battles perfectly-shocking the audience with his behaviour in once scene, then bring out their empathy in the next.
Siobhan, Christophers teacher, mentor and friend, is played by Lucianne McEvoy. Often the only sensible voice in Christopher’s head, Siobhan narrates the majority of the production, reading from a book Christopher has written about the events he has gone through.
Emma Beattie plays Judy, the often absent Mother of Christopher, and estranged wife of Ed.
Unable to deal with her sons issues, and her husband’s irritation over her inability to cope, Judy flees, leaving her son and husband. Emma’s portrayal of Judy is emotional to say the least-her acting abilities shine through, earning her a place as another much loved main character.
A supporting cast, playing various characters, often sit to the side of the stage, moving in fluid motion to change the few props, or to aid Christopher in his interactions.
The stage, constantly lit or moving to mirror Christopher’s thoughts, are a real treat for the audiences eyes.
Specifically during a scene depicting London, the many lights and sounds aptly interpret what the busy city would be like in Christopher’s mind.
Additionally, there are tear-jerking, heart breaking (and heart-warming) moments throughout. The arrival of some real life animals, had the audience audibly gasping and cooing from their seats, whereas angry altercations, left a lump in their throats and genuine concern became etched on their faces.
While the play itself remains a product of the National Theatre and West-End, it most definitely earns it’s place as a must-see show, locally during it’s tour.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is at the Marlowe Theatre until Saturday 11 March, Tickets are Available here; http://www.marlowetheatre.com/page/3040/The-Curious-Incident-Of-The-Dog-In-The-Night-Time/1132
By Jemma Willson