Last weekend I went to see the stage version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, at the Gielgud theatre in London with my boyfriend and two good friends of ours. I’d been wanting to see it for a long time, as I loved the original book by Mark Haddon. To give a quick summary, the story is told from the perspective of a 15-year old boy, Christopher, who, while not explicitly stated, appears to have Asperger syndrome or some form of autism (he refers to himself as ‘a mathematician with some behavioural difficulties’), who ends up discovering some dark truths about his family after discovering the body of his neighbour’s dog impaled with a garden fork, and then investigating the incident. Without spoiling too much, the stage version conveys the way Christopher’s mind works beautifully, with everything methodically arranged and organised – which then becomes chaotic with words and noises blaring everywhere when Christopher becomes overwhelmed by all the signs and information in a busy train station, for example – demonstrating perfectly just how overwhelming the world can seem to someone with autism. Having worked with and supported individuals with autism for a number of years now, a lot of it struck a chord with me and perhaps triggered more of an emotional response than it otherwise would have. You really have to see for yourself just how well lighting and various effects are used to tell the story – even a long-winded explanation for a maths problem somehow becomes entertaining! There is a perfect balance of laughs and emotion in this play, and I would highly recommend it, especially if you enjoyed the book like I did. A fantastic production, where actor Joseph Ayre shines especially as Christopher. Go see it!
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