The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Published 2 March 2022

Earlier this term Year 10 saw the stage adaptation of the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon of ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. The play has won both the Oliver Ward and Tony Award. The students thoroughly enjoyed the trip, as both Erin and Jemima make clear in their write-ups:

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ was a play of many ideas and themes, ranging from abandonment to truth and the importance of trust.  Whilst thought-provoking, these ideas often weren’t particularly comfortable to think about.

At the beginning of the play, we meet 15-year-old Christopher who lives with his dad, in Swindon. He has just discovered his neighbour’s dead dog (Wellington), and is obsessed with finding out who’s killed the dog. However, as he attempts to solve the mystery, lots of other things are revealed, further complicating his life. Christopher is also taking Maths A-Level, which as a student was nice to see because it meant I could relate to Christopher, as school is a big part of my life. We discovered more and more things as the play went on, and by the end I felt empathy towards all the characters, and that made what happened to them even more important. The play was faithful to the book, but it might have been interesting to see them create a different path for Christopher to follow.

There were many themes in the play, one of the main ones being abandonment. The mum in the play abandons Christopher and it’s difficult to decide whether she was in the wrong or whether she’s justified in what she did. Another main theme is truth and how far trust goes. Although Christopher’s mother is more upfront and truthful with him, and his father less so, it’s harder to trust the mother because of her leaving Christopher. It’s complicated for the audience to decide what’s right and what’s wrong, and in my opinion that’s what makes the play so good, it makes the audience think and isn’t that what theatre is for?”

Jemima Kerr 10P1

“We arrived at the theatre and got shown inside and to our seats, the staff were absolutely lovely and the inside of the theatre was gorgeous! The show was very loud to begin with but it really fit with the opening scene of the play. From the first moment the actors stepped on stage they were phenomenal, you could tell that every single one of them were enjoying themselves and had put a lot of work into their rehearsals. The main character, an autistic 15 year old boy called Christopher, was played really well and very accurately by the actor. I really like the maths question at the very end of the play where Christopher explains the question that’s on his A-level exam paper, it just added some more humour and enjoyment.

The use of props was really cool as they didn’t actually have many and it was very cleverly done. There was also the use of the other actors as props that was really nice, there was one particular part where the main character was using one of the other actors arm and somehow the two of them managed to make it look like he was opening a door and I have no idea how they did it but I could clearly see what was happening.

The play explores a few different themes that anyone in the world could relate to such as abandonment issues, learning difficulties, truth and trust.  The use of lighting sound and projection really helped the performance and overall it was really lovely and it made my entire week. I would go back and watch the whole thing ten times over if I could.”

Erin Lloyd 10P2 

 

PHOTO: Joshua Jenkins and the company of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – BrinkhoffMögenburg