It’s only January and Melbourne Theatre Company has already launched one of the most highly anticipated shows of the year: The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time. Based on the best-selling book of the same name, the play has scored seven Olivier Awards and five Tony Awards, including Best Play. The show is a joint venture with the Arts Centre to bring the UK’s National Theatre touring production to Melbourne. With these three cultural powerhouses at the helm, a top-quality theatrical experience is guaranteed.
The story is told from the perspective of Christopher Boone, a young teen with autism. When his neighbour’s dog is murdered, he sets out to solve the mystery. Boone is continually onstage and the role demands an actor with serious chops to relate this unique character to the audience. Actor Joshua Jenkins embraced this challenging role. However, it requires some suspension of disbelief to think that the 29 year old actor is in fact a 15 year old boy in the world of the play.
The international cast travelled from the UK with this production. So the accents are spot on and the casting reflects the diversity of region. The lighting and set designs are also outstanding. Instead of serving as a subtle backdrop for the performance, these technical elements are front and centre in the storytelling. (For fans of the book, the script stayed true to the original story outside of a few unusual choices to break the fourth wall.)
The National Theatre states its program is ‘broad and inclusive, appealing to the widest possible audiences…’ Happily, both the casting and the subject matter lend itself to this mission. On 25 January the Arts Centre Melbourne is staging an autism friendly ‘relaxed performance’.
The production was fully engrossing and the 2 hour 40 minute runtime sped by. The Curious Incident is the hot ticket item in Melbourne, with the show already selling out.
Jenny S. is an event adventurer. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time runs 12 Jan – 25 Feb at Arts Centre Melbourne. Buy tickets now.