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BrumHour saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at the invite of Birmingham Hippodrome.
David Breeds who plays Christopher at certain performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time spoke to Brum Radio’s Interval Theatre about his role in this touring production. Listen below:
By George Elsmere-Whitney twitter.com/caramellattekiss
This production contains strong language.
Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at Birmingham Hippodrome
Intense, emotional, and thought-provoking
Directed by Marianne Elliott, adapted by Simon Stephens
Christopher Boone is not like other boys his age. He is exceptional at Maths and dreams of being an astronaut, although he has never gone further than the end of his road on his own and he is frightened of strangers. When his neighbour’s dog is killed, Christopher turns detective, putting his extraordinary mind into finding the culprit. Little does he know, he is about to turn his whole world upside down through his investigations.
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, based on the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon, tells the story of the neurodivergent fifteen-year-old Christopher, who just wants to know who killed Wellington. His investigation uncovers some deep family secrets and pushes Christopher to his limits.
While Christopher (played by Connor Curren) drives the action, this is a true ensemble piece, with the actors seamlessly stepping in to portray neighbours, teachers, and police officers as needed. Tom Peters stands out as Christopher’s father, Ed, bringing real heart to a man struggling to know what’s best for his son and balancing his desire to protect him with his own frustrations of being the parent of an autistic child. Siobhan, played by Rebecca Root, provides a calming influence, often acting as Christopher’s inner monologue.
Curren does a beautiful job sensitively portraying Christopher, and masterfully portrays Christopher’s struggles to make sense of the world around him. His physical performance blends together stillness and awkward motion, all building together to create a sense of his extreme anxiety and discomfort, as well as the moments of calm that numbers and space bring him.
The real standout element of this play is the ingenious staging, designed by Bunny Christie, which makes use of sound, light, video, chalkboards, and a series of opening compartments to take the audience into Christopher’s mind. At times, the blasts of light and noise are overwhelming and intense; a clever tool to show how Christopher is experiencing what is happening to him.
The set is used particularly effectively in the second act when Christopher attempts to navigate the London Underground. Harsh lighting and blaring sound effects bring the audience right along with Christopher, experiencing his fear and confusion.
This show is emotional and thought-provoking. The heavy subject matter is balanced carefully with moments of joy and humour. Fans of Mark Haddon’s wonderful book will not be disappointed.
Intense, emotional, and thought-provoking, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is at Birmingham Hippodrome until 2nd April 2022. Book tickets here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/the-curious-incident-two