Theatre Review: The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time At Piccadilly Theatre
Digital pathways and geometric logic will always make more sense than the love, responsibility and loss of hope that inflicts human beings. This central tension has arguably driven The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to global success since the 2003 release of Mark Haddon’s book on which the play is based.
Yet the new National Theatre production at the Piccadilly Theatre has broken through to a new level of visceral impact, through its bold embrace of digital mapping technologies, movement theatre and crackling sound and lighting effects worthy of a sci-fi film.
But it’s the commanding cast, led by Joshua Jenkins, that makes the show an unqualified success. Jenkins takes the role that’s a young actor’s dream, inhabiting the world of Christopher, the teen hero who cannot comprehend others’ emotions and much prefers math problems. He ably meets the mighty challenge of credibly portraying severe behavioural disorders while building pathos and perfectly timed laugh lines.
Director Marianne Elliott scores big with a series of bittersweet encounters as her lead determines to track down the killer of his neighbour’s dog, Wellington. The humour and grit of Christopher’s processes as he quizzes neighbours, his beleaguered dad, Ed, thoughtfully performed by Stuart Laing, and his mentor, Julie Hale’s Siobhan, drive this smart, energetic drama to a resolution that feels instinctively authentic — perhaps the only thing left us when logic fails.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Piccadilly Theatre, 16 Denman Street, London W1D 7DY. Tickets from £18. Until 27 April 2019.
Last Updated 12 December 2018