REVIEW: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
As a person with Aspergers Syndrome who had not read the book, I was curious as to what to expect from this show.
I found it both enjoyable and fascinating in equal measure and I could resonate and recognise a lot of the behaviours and mannerisms that the outstanding Christopher Boone (played by Scott Reid) displayed in a very believable performance.
The whole cast gave convincing and flawless performances in their respective roles with a number of them doubling up and playing several small parts. Some of the smaller roles got the bigger laughs in a play which did have its amusing moments while also having more serious messages about tolerance and embracing differences.
A mention should go to Crystal Condie who must have been bursting with pride at being able to perform at the Waterside having been brought up in Aylesbury.
As a performer within an amateur dramatics group I know it isn’t easy having to wait until the second act to do for your bit, and this was the case with Christopher’s mum Judy (Emma Beattie) who maintained the high standards set by her fellow cast members.
The clever use of boxes as props meant that the action could be quickly switched location with minimal scenery changes. The lighting and sound really added to the atmosphere and effect, although the flashing lights used at one point where quite strong.
The dramatic pauses added well to the realism, although at times in the emotional scenes between Christopher and his dad Ed (David Michaels) they did seem to go on a bit long for comfort.
There were a lot of emotive scenes with some particularly lovely exchanges between Christopher and his sympathetic teacher Siobhan (Lucianne McEvoy), who also narrated us through parts of the first act.
Having sat near the back of the circle for a show last week, I did wonder how well some of the quieter dialogue (which didn’t seem that loud from the stalls) would be heard by those sat near the back of the theatre.
The audience reserved a big awwww for the appearance of a dog near the end of the show, although the cheers and applause that greeted this tremendously successful production at the end were much louder and very well deserved.
Provided you don’t make a quick dash for the exit, you’ll be able to see why Christopher is so good at maths, as he makes a surprise re-appearance after the curtain call.
Everything ran without hitches, although the woman on announcements was a bit keen during the interval, telling us to return to our seats with fifteen minutes still to go.
It was a very enjoyable show, in my eyes a very accurate portrayal of life for somebody with Aspegers Syndrome and suitable for the whole family to come and enjoy, despite there being a few swear words during the angry scenes.
If this show changes the attitudes and perceptions towards Aspergers Syndrome of at least some of the audience members who come through the doors between tonight and Saturday February 11 this show has been an unqualified success.