by Simon Stephens based on the novel by Mark Haddon.

Tour to 21 November 2015.
Runs 2hr 25min One interval.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 26 March at the Royal & Derngate (Derngate auditorium) Northampton.

Local author made very good indeed.
There’s a triple triumph here. Mark Haddon’s novel might have been a text book for an age increasingly aware of a mental phenomenon where even the name keeps developing – autism, Asperger Syndrome, autism spectrum, neuro-diversity, as various identified conditions are variously allied with each other.

It has become a text book in many schools (perhaps explaining the large number of midweek matinees on this long tour), thanks to incorporating scientific ideas with a traditional story about family and the search for someone lost.

Then there’s an incisive adaptation by Simon Stephens, making a play that lives by itself, never seeming an attempt to force or compress material meant for another medium. And the detailed intelligence of Marianne Elliott’s lively production which seems to let the story speak for itself, while Bunny Christie’s set evokes both bareness and the patterns and grids dominant in Christophe Boone’s mind.

It’s soon clear Christopher’s natural mental processes could make him seem arrogant and inconsiderate. But he’s not. He merely thinks in terms of facts and states them. And because a teacher encourages him to write his story as a play, he is able to show the theatre audience what he’s keen to show the school-play spectators, how logic turns a complex maths problem into a simple voyage of reason.

His hero, and the title’s derivation, is Sherlock Holmes, whose supreme deductive powers are mixed with apparent human detachment. Elliott’s production, including the Frantic choreography of Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett, ensure an emotional connection’s made. As does Geraldine Alexander, playing the teacher encouraging Christopher to write about his experiences.

She has to allow him an epilogue to do what he really wants and explain a complex mathematical question (with the aid of computer graphics). Human connections are absent in Christopher – he can’t bear being touched physically, and he only knows what he’s acquired logically, just as he speaks in didactic statements, as if announcing everything to those who need explanations.

The social value of putting Christopher centre-stage, as a person not a ‘case’, is considerable; the narrative grip of his story and search are undeniable.

Christopher Boone: Joshua Jenkins/Chris Ashby.
Siobhan: Geraldine Alexander.
Ed: Stuart Laing.
Judy: Gina Isaac.
Mrs Alexander/Posh Woman: Roberta Kerr.
Mrs Shears/Mrs Gascoyne/Woman on Train: Clare Perkins.
Roger Shears/Duty Sergeant/Mr Wise/Man Behind Counter Drunk 1: Lucas Hare.
Policeman 1/Mr Thompson/Drunk 2/Man with Socks/London Policeman: Edward Grace.
No 37/Lady in Street/Information/Punk Girl: Emmanuella Cole.
Reverend Peters/Uncle Terry/Station Policeman/Station Guard: John McAndrew.
Woman on Heath/Shopkeeper: Jessica Williams.
Toby: Starsky/Hutch.

Director: Marianne Elliott.
Designer: Bunny Christie.
Lighting: Paule Constable.
Sound: Ian Dickinson for Autograph
Music: Adrian Sutton.
Video: Finn Ross.
Company Voice work: Barbara Houseman.
Dialect coach: Scott Graham/Steven Hoggett.
Associate director: Katy Rudd.
Resident director: Kim Pearce.

31 Mar-11 Apr Mon-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat 2.30pm; 1,2, 8 Apr 2pm. Theatre Royal Nottingham 0115 989 5555
14-18 Apr 73pm Mat Wed 1.30pm; Thu & Sat 2.30pm Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff (Donald Gordon Theatre) 029 2063 6464
21-25 Apr 7.30pm Mat Wed, Thu 2pm Sat 2.30pm Audio-described Thu 2pm; BSL Signed Thu 7.30pm Alhambra Theatre Bradford 01274 432000
28 Apr-9 May 7.30pm Mat Thu, Sat & 29 Apr 2.30pm Festival Theatre Edinburgh 0131 529 6000
12-23 May 7.30pm Mat Thu & Sat 2.30pm; 1.30pm 13 May Marlowe Theatre Canterbury 01227 787787
26 May- 6 June 7.30pm Mat Wed 2pm; Sat 2.30pm Audio-described 6 Jun 2.30pm; BSL Signed 5 Jun; Captioned 4 Jun Hippodrome Birmingham 0844 338 5000
9-13 Jun 7.30pm Mat Wed, Thu, Sat 2.15pm BSL Signed Thu 7.30pm Curve Leicester 0116 242 3595
23 Jun-4 Jul Relaxed 2 Jul 2pm Mayflower Theatre Southampton 023 8071 1811
7-11 Jul 7.30pm Mat Wed, Thu, Sat 2.30pm Hall for Cornwall Truro 01872 262466
14-18 Jul 7.30pm Mat Wed Thu Sat 2.30pm New Theatre Oxford 0844 871 3020
21-25 Jul 7.30pm Mat Wed, Thu, Sat 2.30pm Liverpool Empire 0844 871 3017
4-8 Aug 7.30pm Mat Wed, Thu, Sat 2.30pm Bristol Hippodrome 0844 871 3012
11-15 Aug 7.30pm Mat Wed, Thu, Sat 2.30pm Audio-described Sat 2.30pm; Captioned Wed 7.30pm Sunderland Empire 0844 871 3022
18-22 Aug 7.30pm Mat Wed, Thu, Sat 2.30pm Audio-described Sat 2.30pm; BSL Signed Thu 7.30pmKing’s Theatre Glasgow 0844 871 7648
25-29 Aug 7.30pm Mat Wed & Sat 2.30pm Grand Theatre Leeds 0844 848 2700
1-5 Sept 7.30pm Mat Thu 2pm; Sat 2.30pm His Majesty’s Aberdeen 01224 641122
8-12 Sept 7.30pm Mat Wed & Sat 2.30pm Theatre Royal Norwich 01603 63000
15-28 Sept Mon-Sat 7.45pm Mat Thu & 16 Sept 2pm; Sat 3pm Audio-described/BSL Signed 17 Sept 7.45pm; Captioned 26 Sept 3pm Lyceum Sheffield 0114 249 6000
6-10 Oct 7.30pm Mat Wed, Thu, Sat 2.30pm Bord Gáis Energy Theatre Dublin 0818 719377/0844 847 2455
13-17 Oct 7.30pm Mat Wed, Thu, Sat 2.30pm Grand Theatre Belfast 028 9024 1919
20-31 Oct Mon-Wed 7.30pm; Thu-Sat 8pm Mat Wed, Sat & 22 Oct 2.30pm Theatre Royal Bath 01225 448844
3-7 Nov 7.30pm Mat Wed, Thu, Sat 2.30pm Audio-described Sat 2.30pm; BSL Signed Fri; Captioned Wed 2.30pm Milton Keynes Theatre 0844 871 7652
17-21 Nov 7.30pm Mat Wed, Thu, Sat 2pm The Lowry Salford 0843 208 6000

2015-04-01 14:16:29

ReviewsGate Copyright Protection