The first play in the 2018 MTC season was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
The production is an adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel, of the same title, which I understand was published in 2003. Before we headed off to see it, I looked at some of the reviews (such as the Guardian’s and the Conversation’s). Perhaps it’s just me, but I got the impression that the reviewers weren’t quite sure how to handle this production. Note, however, that Fairfax was wowed by it.
Well, I can relate to their uncertainty. The issue revolves around Chris, who is referred to in the programme as “different”. The Conversation’s review says that Chris was originally referred to as having Asperger’s syndrome, but for whatever reason, this is not now stated in the play or elsewhere Be that as it may, we are vividly shown the world through his eyes, including communication issues and a lack of emotion, obsession with being “truthful”, an inability to discern the overall picture (the station building is a perceived as a mass of components) and extra-ordinarily high-level mathematical skills. Understandably, this places enormous stresses on his parents and the others around him. There are a lot of impressive moments – the high-tech lights, projection, sound, and some good choreography, but there’s also a story and, I think I can say, a hopeful ending.
Just the same, I thought it dragged a little at times. It can’t be that there’s too much hi-tech, because it would be heresy to suggest that – there can never been too much tech, can there? But, overall, an impressive production, and we’ll certainly remember it for a long time. I can understand why the season is sold-out.
Footnote – interview with the actor that plays Chris is here.