Play: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Venue: Cinemec cinema, Ede (livestream of National Theatre)
Directed by: Marianne Elliott
Starring: Luke Treadaway, Una Stubbs
Date: September 6, 2012
I saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time via NT-live in the cinema. It’s based on a best-selling novel but I never heard of the book before I saw the announcement for the play so I went in without any foreknowledge, except the short overview on the website.
Christopher, fifteen years old, stands beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog. It has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in the book he is writing to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington.
He has an extraordinary brain, exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.
The play was basically him writing a book about what happened and then they performed the book as a play, it got very Inception-esque there. The whole performance was very good, I love it when plays make use of modern technology and they did it very well. One bit that made me laugh very loudly was when Christopher wanted to take his A level math’s test and he started to read the question out loud. He wanted to tell the answer when his teacher stepped in and explained that the answer to a math’s question wasn’t a good thing to explain during a play because not everybody would be interested. She made the deal that he could explain it to the people who wanted and who’d stay after everybody took their bow. So after the applause it stayed dark and he came out and explained the question with everything technological he had available and it was just brilliantly done.
The actor playing Christopher, Luke Treadaway, was amazing, he barely left the stage during the performance! Yes, he had a great butt (come on, if somebody sits on his knees and bends forwards and the camera angle is from behind it is hard not to look) and a great torso (several t-shirt changes on stage) but it was just his whole performance. Hard to believe he isn’t autistic but the moment he was done he snapped out of it and in the interview afterwards he was just his normal self. Does that even make sense reading it? Difficult to explain but it showed what a great actor he is and what an amazing future he has ahead of him.
I love the NT-live concept and I’m very happy that the cinema I went to decided to keep going this season. There were performances last season where we were only with ten people in the audience but this time it was very busy. As long as the cinema is broadcasting the plays I will do my very best to go and see it. It is the closest thing to being in the theatre and at times the only way to see a play like this.