Theatre Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Theatre Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Gielgud Theatre, London
Until February 14

★★★★  (out of 5)

WITH a new cast and a new home The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is back with a bang in the West End.

And this surprisingly adaptable tale proves it has as much charm on the stage at the Gielgud Theatre as it offered in Mark Haddon’s unforgettable book - thanks to a clever rework by Simon Stephens and the devilishly detailed direction of Marianne Elliot.

But its Graham Butler, as protagonist Christopher Boone, who is the star of this production – albeit with one hell of a support team, in the many characters that flow through his consciousness and the interactive set design where his innermost thoughts, murder theories and mathematical equations are played out on the grandest of scales for us all to savour.

Yet Butler – who at 28 looks every inch the 15-year, three months and two day-old Christopher - is the glue that brings the whole production together.

The level of speed, detail and dexterity at which Christopher’s Asperger’s mind works, requires much from the young actor in this role. And he does not disappoint.

In fact he goes above and beyond for Christopher and doesn’t stop moving in this two and a half hour performance – which makes it most exhilarating, if somewhat exhausting, to watch.

From Christopher’s ‘detective work’ to his search for his mother and ultimate understanding of the family breakdown that is occurring around him, Butler brings the necessary pathos with every move and expression made.

As a result he must be physically and emotionally drained, but this does not show on stage as he seamlessly glides – literally, when dreaming of being an astronaut, pirouettes and street-runs his way through this production. Put frankly, he is excellent in this piece and owns this character.

You might even think he was born for it.

It’s worth going along to find out, where you’ll sit put and be brought along the most eloquent, emotional and inspiring of rides.

The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time runs at the Gielgud Theatre, London until February 2015