Writer: Simon Stephens
Based on the novel by: Mark Haddon
Director: Marianne Elliott
Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys
There’s little more one can say about a story once deemed unstageable by its author, which when adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens subsequently went on to win seven Olivier and five Tony Awards: this production of Mark Haddon’s best-selling, award-winning, much-loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has finally arrived in Glasgow and never has a show been more worthy of the superlatives thrown at it.
Christopher, a young man with Asperger Syndrome sets out to solve the murder of his neighbour’s dog. And in the process uncovers some mysteries about his own dead mother while negotiating the vagaries of everyday interactions and human relationships.
In order for Christopher’s internal monologue to be staged, Stephens frames the piece as a play based on Christopher’s writings. The action plays out on Bunny Christie, Finn Ross and Paule Constable’s stunningly inventive set – a black cube of brilliant light, sound, animation and design, where the workings of Christopher’s mind and the locations of the story are beautifully realised. The originality of the design has to be seen in action to be fully appreciated, safe to say it is one of the most mind-blowingly creative stagings you are likely to witness and the detail is seemingly infinite.
The staging is enhanced with ingenious sequences of movement cleverly used to convey emotions and drive the narrative and a hauntingly evocative score by Adrian Sutton.
The most stunning aspect of this production, though, is the central performance of Joshua Jenkins as Christopher. Words can’t begin to do justice to this young actor. Simply he is awe-inspiring and truly deserving of any plaudits that come his way. Haddon’s creation is hard not to love, but Jenkins makes him truly irresistible.
This is a stunning piece of work and perfectly encapsulates the soaring originality of the book. One of the best things you are likely to see on a stage – as close to perfection as you could possibly get.
Runs until Saturday 22nd August 2015
Related article: Cian Binchy talks autism in the arts