Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at Birmingham Hippodrome

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You may have read the book when it was released back in 2003, but Simon Stephen’s adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, currently on stage at the Birmingham Hippodrome, is a complete game changer.

The adaptation allows the audience to step into the mind of Christopher, who has Asperger syndrome. Christopher doesn’t talk to strangers, never tells lies, hates the colour yellow, is obsessed with space and is a mathematical genius.

So, when his day to day routine comes to a halt after finding that his neighbour’s dog has been killed, he sets out to find who did it. However, by putting pieces of the puzzle together, Christopher stumbles into a series of unprecedented events.

The storyline is extraordinary, and follows Christopher’s family who are struggling to cope with their son, who hates to be touched and can’t understand sarcasm and jokes.

Christopher, played by Scott Reid, does an incredible job of taking on the role. He is on the stage for the whole play, and manages to portray Christopher’s innocence remarkably well, alongside his struggle of not quite fitting in with those around him.

Other stand out performances came from Christopher’s dad, Ed, played by David Michaels. In fact, the play itself is very much based on the impact that Ed’s actions have had on Christopher. David Michaels does a brilliant job of getting the audience on his side and showing his agonising heartbreak and vulnerability. Christopher’s mother, played by Emma Beattie, is also unmissable.

The audience fell in love with the calming nature of Christopher’s teacher Siobhan, played by Lucianne McEvoy, who cleverly narrates sections of Christopher’s book to the audience and in a theatrical twist, suggests the idea of making into a school production.

The ensemble also do a brilliant job, with a whole range of clever yet understated dance routines.

However, the biggest star of the show is the set itself. The hi-tech set is constantly changing, going from the universe to the London Underground, the set manages to take us to every inch of the play and see life how Christopher sees it, keeping the audience engaged.

It has been designed beautifully, and challenges the audience to see the world through a different set of eyes and how much of a struggle daily life can be for those with Asperger syndrome.

The play is an exceptional piece of theatre and is sensory overdrive, challenging those watching to see, hear and experience life in a totally different way.

However, although the show can be incredibly deep and emotional at times, with the audience stunned into complete silence on several occasions, it also has a wicked sense of humour, with a whole host of hilarious moments, making it a hugely entertaining show. A surprise appearance from a beautiful puppy, is also wonderful and is so uplifting for both the cast and the audience.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time was one of the most highly anticipated shows to arrive in Birmingham, but after spending the evening enjoying the play, you will soon learn just why it is such a success. It is on stage until Saturday, July 8.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time rating: 10/10 – unmissable.