The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Theatre Review, Belfast’s Grand Opera House, January 18, 2022

It’s celebrating its 10th birthday, the novel by Mark Haddon has sold over five point five million copies, and over five million have seen Simon Stephens adaptation that has brought the show to the West End, Broadway and visited more than 100 towns and cities across the globe.

Winner of a record breaking seven Olivier Awards, five Tony Awards and more to mention; I am, of course, writing about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The press release is full of reviews dripping with admiration, almost to a ridiculous level of what could be read as sycophantic levels of praise. But I’ll tell you this: the reviews, awards, footfall through theatre doors are all well deserved.

Why, I hear you ask? Well, normally when you see a play’s running time is two hours and 10 minutes the stomach drops a little and the bladder tightens as the fear of a long-winded night of over indulgence is sure to making a stop at your little station. But the best thing about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is that every moment is to be enjoyed.

Directed by Marianna Elliott, who far from chance has picked up another Olivier for her work on Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman, this piece of theatre is mesmerising from the start, right through the narrative arc to its glorious end. There’s not a moment to change.

The gist of it is this: a 15-year-old boy called Christopher John Francis Boone, a boy with extraordinary talents and a ruthless, questioning mind which sees and hears too much. These days society has become obsessed with labels, there’s an acronym for every little character trait, but this play cuts through such categorizations and sees the human behind the doctor’s lazy diagnosis.

David Breeds plays Christopher, a boy with warring parents and an investigation to carry out. He loves maths, science and space. He has never left the end of his street unaccompanied. Go that? Everything is measured to the final degree, second, colour, feel.


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