Friday 3 August 2012
Theatre review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
I was among those who really loved Haddon's book so was really hoping Marianne Elliott's production could at least come close to doing it justice, and Stephens and Elliott have passed with flying colours: The first act follows the book's structure pretty closely, with Christopher's teacher Siobhan (Niamh Cusack) reading out chapters from the book he's writing about his "investigation." Bunny Christie has designed an in-the-round set which turns the Cottesloe's pit into a huge sheet of graph paper, transformed through everything from sophisticated video projections (by Finn Ross) and lighting design (Paule Constable) to trapdoors and simple chalk drawings on the floor, into both the real landscape and the one inside Christopher's head.
A Doll's House, reminds us that any amount of brilliant acting can be upstaged by an injection of cute. With the Cottesloe run sold out this has to be a cert for a transfer of some kind - with the Olivier suddenly finding itself without a Christmas show this year, surely the only question is whether this show's technical elements can be adapted to the larger stage in time to move it there once its current run ends.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens, based on the book by Mark Haddon, is booking in repertory until the 27th of October at the National Theatre's Cottesloe (returns and day seats only) and screening live to cinemas on the 6th of September.
Running time: 2 hours 45 minutes including interval and Appendix.