by Simobn Stephens adapted from the book by Mark Haddon.

Apollo Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 7EZ To 25 May 2013.
Mon, Wed-Sat 7.30pm Tue 7pm Mat Thu, Sat 2.30pm no performance 15, 29 Apr, 13 May.
Runs: 2hr 40min One interval.

TICKETS: 020 7452 3000 (no booking fee)
0844 412 4658. (booking fee).
Review: Carole Woddis 28 March.

A Triumph.
Mark Haddon’s runaway success and bestseller about a young boy with a phenomenal mind, its effect on his family and his determination to solve the mystery of a murdered dog has now reached the West End. What started out as a novel then became a triumphant National Theatre stage adaptation by Simon Stephens and director Marianne Elliott is now in the West End with equal triumph. A packed house on a cold Thursday matinee – a large proportion of whom were under 25 year – confirms the power of this particular tale and the appetite still for intelligent theatre.

Curious Incident was also one of the NT’s Live transmissions gaining even wider exposure. But with the book now having been translated into more than 40 languages, the hold on the public imagination of 15 year old Christopher Boone remains something of a miracle.

So too the transformation of what was very much a four-sided Cottesloe production into a strait-laced proscenium one. In the event, the the play’s impact remains overwhelming, if a little diluted by certain cast changes.

Paul Ritter as Christopher’s father and Nicola Walker as Christopher’s mother at the Cottesloe, are well-nigh irreplaceable, being currently two of the country’s best, most versatile actors. Seán Gleeson and Holly Aird do a fine job without yet quite reaching the sub-textual levels of their predecessors.

Johnny Gibbon now shares the lead role with the extraordinary Luke Treadaway. On stage for nearly the full two and a half hours, Treadaway’s sensitivity to his character’s mathematical brilliance and emotional rigidities is still astonishing.

Around him, Elliott’s production physicalises the novel with brilliant flashes (courtesy of the choreographic geniuses that are Frantic Assembly’s Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett) and visual surprises involving electronic master-boards and three dimensional Tube escalators.

Christopher’s plunge into the battery of sound and sight that is modern London, disturbing to any stranger never mind a young man on the autistic spectrum running away to find his mother, remains a uniquely moving and haunting representation of the effects of over-stimulation on particular human brains.

Still a turn-on for detective and mathematical lovers of any age. Quite wonderful.

Christopher Boone: Luke Treadaway/Johnny Gibbon.
Siobhan: Niamh Cusack.
Ed: Seán Gleeson.
Judy: Holly Aird.
Mrs Alexander/Posh Woman/Voice Six: Tilly Tremayne.
Mrs Shears/Mrs Gascoyne/Voice One/Woman on Train/Woman on Heath/Shopkeeper: Sophie Duval.
Roger Shears/Duty Sergeant/Voice Two/Mr Wise/Man Behind Counter/Drunk One: Nick Sidi.
Policeman/Mr Thompson/Voice Three/Drunk Two/Man with Socks/Man on Phone/London Policeman/London Transport Policeman: Matthew Barker.
No. 40/Voice Five/Lady in the Street/Information/Punk Girl: Rhiannon Harper-Rafferty.
Reverend Peters/Voice Four/Uncle Terry/Station Policeman/Station Guard: Howard Ward.
Toby: Audrey or Marilyn.

Director: Marianne Elliott.
Designer: Bunny Christie.
Lighting: Paule Constable.
Sound: Ian Dickinson for Autograph.
Music: Adrian Sutton.
Video: Finn Ross.
Movement: Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly.
Company Voice work: Jeannette Nelson.
Fight director: Kate Waters.
Associate director: Nadia Fall.
Resident director: Katy Rudd.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is presented with kind permission of Warnr Bros. Entertainment.
World premiere was at the Cottesloe Theatre 2 August 2012. First performance at the Apollo Theatre was 1 March 2013.

2013-04-01 11:26:27

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