Cool to be Curious
Muddy reviews this phenomenal National Theatre production, in Oxford until Saturday. The long and short of it? GO!
It’s the fourth time I’ve seen this wonderful National Theatre play, based on Mark Haddon’s best-selling The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time, and it’s every bit as good this time round.
If you’re not familiar with the story, it follows 15 year old Christopher, a child with Asperger Syndrome who has an extraordinary maths ability, but also difficulty interpreting everyday life. When he falls under suspicion of killing his neighbour’s dog, his carefully ordered world starts to unravel and he runs away from home to find his mum in London.
It’s a drama, clearly, but it’s also uplifting with moments of real humour and in fact I’d say this production at the New Theatre plays up the laughs more than the others I’ve seen.
One of the most exciting elements of this play is its design – lights flash, music pumps, Christopher’s mental turmoil is thumped and strobed out so we can feel his pain and confusion, his thoughts coming to life physically as he jumps, falls, and floats (held by supporting actors) as he imagines himself in space. It all feels so modern and relevant, and it’s telling that I’ve taken my husband, 14 year old son and mother at various times to see this play and they’ve all been equally blown away by it.
Christopher was played by Sam Newton on the night I went, fresh out of drama school last year and in his first professional theatre role – quite the debut and he was brilliant though he shares this role with Scott Reid so I’m not sure who’ll you see if you go between Thursday and when it leaves after Saturday night’s performance.
The long and short of this review is, well, definitely GO! I’m often fatigued by theatre if it’s not totally brilliant but I’m 100% convinced you’ll love this inventive, thought-provoking, visually jaw-dropping play.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, until Sat 27 May at New Theatre Oxford, George St, Oxford OX1 2AG. Buy tickets