Notes on... The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

If you were looking for a difficult book to translate onto stage, surely The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is up there with the most challenging. Mark Haddon’s best-selling book is written in the voice of Christopher, a fifteen-year-old on the autistic spectrum who is documenting his investigation into who killed his neighbour’s dog. The adaptation to stage lifts Christopher’s monologue into a layered, complex exploration of the world through his eyes.

The set on first look is seemingly simple – black walls with a criss-cross grid pattern. It is only as the show progresses that we realise how ingenious it is, with hundreds of LED lights along the walls and floor, built-in hidden compartments and boxes that get repeatedly moved and reused to portray anything from seats on a train to a fishtank. An apt comparison to our protagonist's mind that is superbly literal, confusing and unpredictable.

Scott Reid, who plays Christopher, eloquently depicts the character’s struggles with seemingly ‘ordinary’ tasks — for example Christopher cannot bear to be touched — and simultaneously vividly depicts his brilliance for maths and problem-solving. While there are certainly moments that are almost painful to watch, there is a lightness and humour in Curious that leaves the audience happy to have found the least likely of heroes.

Curious was on at the Hippodrome. See their website for future listings.