Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Theatre 2015: Review Twenty-Nine

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Theatre Royal, Norwich. September 2015.

Back in 2012 Rebecca and I were lucky enough to get tickets to see this play in its original incarnation at the Cottesloe Theatre in London and it made my top 5 plays of the year. I've wanted Mr Norfolkbookworm to see the play for a while but as he isn't too keen on London it was a great relief to discover that the tour was coming to Norwich.

Before going in I was worried how the change from black box theatre to proscenium arch would work.  The set was so integral to the original play we saw, could this be reproduced? I'm pleased to say that it totally worked - and possibly improved some parts.

The set comprised of an open box that was divided into, for better description, graph paper and was used to great effect as lights and drawings appeared on all visible sides as needed.  The three dimensional set also made it clearer that the ever changing lights and projections were reflections of Christopher's mind being unable to process the world around him.  When he is coping there are ordered lines and his own images but when over whelmed it all becomes jumbled, flashing, loud and incomprehensible.

It may be false memory but I did think that the fourth wall was broken more times in this version than in the original and I didn't like this - I was jolted out of the production at these points, but this is a small criticism of a wonderful night out.

If you don't catch this on tour then it is still playing in London and I really recommend going if you can, it is a play that can stand repeat viewings. Mr Norfolkbookworm also gives it his seal of approval!

Two warnings:

  • there are unpredictable strobe lighting effects used in this, if you are susceptible to these this really may not be the play for you. 
  • there is a slight danger of cuteness over load at one point.

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