THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
We don’t manage to have ALL the shows make it to Perth but I must say of late, the shows that do make it have been ones to write home about. Like the National Theatre of Great Britain’s Olivier and Tony Award®-winning production of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME which opened at His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth this week, following its acclaimed sell-out debut season in Melbourne and recent national tour that included Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide with its all-British and Irish cast.
The production is a brilliant adaption by Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon’s best-selling book and directed by Tony Award winner Marianne Elliott (War Horse, Angels in America).
Following a sold-out run at the National Theatre, the production transferred to London’s West End, where it enjoyed sell-out houses. It is the recipient of a record-breaking seven 2013 Olivier Awards, including Best New Play, Best Director, Best Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design – more Oliviers than any other play in the history of London’s West End at that time.
The play then transferred to Broadway, where it premiered at the Barrymore Theatre in September 2014, winning five Tony Awards® including Best Play, six Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Play, five Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Play and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play.
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME was the longest-running play on Broadway in over a decade and was named among the top 10 productions of 2014 by over 20 leading media outlets, including The New York Times, Associated Press, New York Post, Time Out New York, Playbill and Time Magazine.
The show tells the story of fifteen-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone. He is found beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog, which has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He meticulously records each fact in a book he is writing to solve the mystery of who killed Wellington. He has an extraordinary brain, is exceptional at maths, while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and distrusts strangers but his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME is described as “a play that works on every level, crowd-pleasing, eye-opening, life-affirming and unmissable” by TIME Magazine and hailed as “a phenomenal combination of storytelling and spectacle” by The Times (UK).
The all-British and Irish company for this international tour is Joshua Jenkins (Christopher), who played the role in the first UK tour, Julie Hale (Siobhan), Stuart Laing (Ed), Emma Beattie (Judy), Bruce McGregor (Reverend Peters), Amanda Posener (Mrs Shears), Oliver Boot (Mr Shears), Danielle Kassarate (Punk Girl), Debra Michaels (Mrs Alexander), Matt Wilman (Mr Thompson) with Kaffe Keating playing Christopher at certain performances. The understudies are Kieran Garland, Emma Keele, Joe Rising and Danielle Young.
Director Marianne Elliott said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that our production of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME is touring across the world and I look forward to sharing with audiences our staging of Mark Haddon’s beautiful story of love, family and bravery in the most unlikely of environments.”
The production is designed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Bunny Christie, Tony Award-winning lighting designer Paule Constable and Tony Award-winning video designer Finn Ross. Movement is by Scott Graham and Olivier Award-winning Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton (who also composed music for War Horse) and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph.
Mark Haddon’s novel THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME was published in 2003 and was the winner of more than 17 literary awards, including prizes in the US, Japan, Holland and Italy, as well as the prestigious Whitbread Book of the Year Award in the UK in 2004. The novel has been translated into 44 languages and sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide.
This tour is presented by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions. Prior to this tour, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME was presented in Melbourne by Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Theatre Company.
MY TAKE HOME…
I’m awarding this production 5 worth casing stars out of 5. A standing ovation of sorts, which surprisingly didn’t happen on opening night. I’m blaming the uncomfortable theatre seats, the fact Perth audiences need a lesson or two about what should constitute a standing ovation but I’m also assuming like me, the rest of the audience was a little shell-shocked by the utter brilliance of this production.
Everything from the performances and choreography to the immersive set design was impressive and flawless. Absolutely brilliant from start to finish. Speaking of which… stay till the very end. Don’t make the mistake of getting up to leave when the lights first come on after what appears to be the final curtain (figurately speaking there are no curtains!). Those last five minutes were honestly Double Dutch to me but another indication of the sheer talent of the leading actor Joshua Jenkins and the production itself.
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
Now showing at His Majesty’s Theatre until August 19!