My Nutella With a Side of Exhaustion post was incredibly vague about what I thought of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, but that was because it would be impossible to do such an incredibly unique and thought-provoking show justice in a post dedicated to everything I had done during my day. I am going to try my best not to ramble and express my thoughts in a somewhat cohesive manner, but honestly, no promises.
The first thing that drew in my attention was the set. The set was essentially just a large box that was covered in smaller black squares and you could tell the set could have lights coming out from basically everywhere. Beyond the stage that continuously surprised me with the walls that would copy what Christopher would write on the floor during his investigation, the steps that came out from the walls, and the random trap doors and compartments everywhere, there wasn’t that much else when it came to set and props. There were a couple of boxes that were moved around to create different things, like a television or a microwave, but other than those and a couple of hand props that was it.
Next, I want to talk about the characterization and the cast. The cast was very small and they all had a part to play beyond just their “roles.” They helped with being parts of the set, helping to show the audience what the inside of Christopher’s mind may look like, and just did whatever else the show needed. The actor who played Christopher was phenomenal and I look forward to seeing if Haddon’s literary depiction of him matches with how the role was carried out.
The thing about the play that struck me the most was how it made you think. Haddon said when asked about the book that he was not an expert on mental illnesses and was not trying to act as though he was. Christopher was just a boy who thought different and that changed how he acted. The set allowed you to get inside of Christopher’s mind.
The difference between this show and Kinky Boots was this: when I reached intermission in Kinky Boots I was ready for the next act, I wanted it to keep going, but when I reached the intermission in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime I just wanted to sit there and think about what I just watched, really just play it over and over again in my mind. I know I’m going to start sounding like a broken record with these show reflections, but SEE THIS SHOW. So far I would rank this the best show I have seen so far out of the two. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s a match for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child or Les Miserables though!