The Arts Club Theatre Company’s 55th Season opens with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Now playing at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, the award winning play is a delightful adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel of the same name. Written by Simon Stephens, this adaptation is directed by The Arts Club’s Ashlie Corcoran, putting her stamp on her first season as Artistic Director.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time starts off with the curious incident, that the neighbour’s dog has been killed, with a garden fork. The dog’s body has been discovered by 15 year old Christopher John Francis Boone, who is assumed to be, though it’s not directly stated, on the Autism spectrum. Against his father’s wishes, Christopher decides to investigate whodunit. Along the way, Christopher learns truths about the dog’s death, his family and himself as he challenges and overcomes his abilities.
The story, worthy of a night-time soap, is told via Christopher’s “book” a personal diary. As read by Siobhan, his special needs assistant and mentor, flashbacks flesh out his diary entries, and becomes a play-within-a-play. Rhythm and repetition help the young math wiz navigate his complex world. Under the guidance of Movement Director Kayla Dunbar, the characters’ interactions also take on dance-like rhythms and repetition. Whether they’re using their bodies to form abstract structures or create the frenetic pace of the big city the movement fills in the picture that Christopher’s words create.
The talented cast is led by Netflix’s Alex Strangelove star, Daniel Doheny in a brilliant and believable turn as Christopher. The rest of the cast play multiple characters that help, hinder and challenge Christopher’s adventure. Todd Thomson stands out as Mr Boone who is both a comforting parent and antagonist. As well, Ghazal Azarbad, as the caring Siobhan, provides the encouragement and cheerleading the story. While the story has plenty of ups and downs and family drama, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is an uplifting and life affirming show, that everyone will love.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is playing until October 7, 2018 at The Arts Club Theatre Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.
September 30th, 7pm, is a relax performance for audience members who may find it difficult to follow a conventional performance.