dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time review at Apollo London

by -

Luke Treadaway twists, cries, writhes, fiddles nervously, howls and moves with astonishing fluidity especially in the surreal dream sequences when he is bodily threaded over – and through – the rest of the ensemble. The role of Christopher Boone, the literalist, who attends a special school, probably has Asperger’s and regards numbers and maths as a haven when everything else overpowers him, is huge but Treadaway’s marvellously sensitive, intelligent acting never flags. It is a terrific performance.

And there’s excellent support from the other nine cast members who, as a group, create physical theatre which is amusing (the voice of the cash machine, passengers taking their luggage off train, the frightening crowd on the concourse at Paddington) and often moving, with some fine cameo performances along the way. Sean Gleeson, for instance gives a powerful account of Christopher’s father – variously angry, frustrated, distraught and contrite.

In many ways, however, the real star of this show, which ran first at the Cottesloe, is Bunny Christie’s electronic graph paper design which lights up and makes imaginative use of projection as it morphs into maps, mazes, numbers and even an escalator down which Christopher reluctantly travels. And both the miniature steam train and the Labrador puppy make nice theatrical moments.

But this is also a piece with depth which, exasperated as most people get with Christopher, is a powerful exposition of the sorts of unimaginable pressures and anxieties people like him face – a valuable byproduct from a compellingly entertaining show.

Production Information

Apollo, London, March 12-January 4, 2014

Author
Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens
Director
Marianne Elliot
Producer
National Theatre
Cast includes
Luke Treadaway, Matthew Barker, Niamh Cusack, Sophie Duval, Rhiannon Harper-Rafferty, Nick Sidi, Howard Ward, Tilly Tremayne, Sean Gleeson, Holly Aird
Running time
2hrs 45mins

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
^