Based on Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel, Simon Stephens’s adaptation for stage does not disappoint. The minimalist stage set provides an intriguing backdrop with the focus on a large garden fork in a large dead dog. With both tension and attention achieved, the narrator’s opens the book and the story begins.
The apprehension is palpable as we enter the life of Christopher, a boy with Asperger Syndrome. Mike Noble is utterly convincing in the role. He possesses the stage with flippant obsessive intensity. He captivates the audience with an uncanny skill of unpredictability and no eye contact. His performance is outstanding. He can’t be touched – literally.
The cast complement Noble’s outstanding acting with high energy and wit. Rackie Ayola brings outstanding poignancy to her role as narrator and the boy’s teacher.
Christopher is further weighed down by his father’s deceitful life which he tried to order and understand. is an incessant reminder of his Aspergers. Amanda Drew plays the part of his estranged wife, with effortless, down to earth realism.
The triple-wall geometric light projection illuminated Christopher’s stark obsessive mind. The simple ulitarian props lack the soft rounded edges of social convention and personal interaction. Here Christopher finds a safe place, a place of mathematical certainty and regularity.
The end of the first half is a high point as Christopher’s personal agitation climaxes in a frenzy of activity. We get inside his head. We know his anguish. We feel his terror. Whilst this intense emotion burns througout, the end of play rather fizzles out.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time continues @ Apollo Theatre, London until November 2014.