The National Theatre Live program, is a groundbreaking initiative to capture and broadcast live theatre performances from Britain’s stages to cinemas worldwide. The highly anticipated first season of events, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Helen Mirren, was seen by over 150,000 people on 320 screens in 22 countries. In 2014 there are now 1,100 screens around the world.
The 2003 award-winning, children’s mystery novel written by Mark Haddon, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” revolves around Christopher, a fifteen year old boy, an intriguing but impatient genius who cannot bear to be touched, that has Behavioural Problems similar to high-functioning Aspergers Syndrome, who describes himself as “a mathematician with some behavioural difficulties”.
This stage version provides spectacular and innovative storytelling, as adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott (War Horse), and was designed to be performed on a small traverse stage, with the audience on all sides, and has a memorable musical score, that is perfectly suited to the narrative.
Christopher has an extraordinary brain, and whilst he is exceptional at maths, he is ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. Because Christopher falls under suspicion of killing Mrs Shears’ dog Wellington, he becomes a private detective, to solve the mystery of the murder, by writing everything into his case book. However his detective work is forbidden by his dad. We become part of the internalised world of this very isolated boy, and we follow his forbidden detective work during his journey to discover the whole truth; however Christopher manages to uncover secrets about his parents’ marriage and the community at large.
Luke Treadaway’s phenomenal performance as Christopher, especially when trying to navigate the sensory (visual and audible) overload of travelling on the London Underground, unassisted and for the first time, in its overcrowded peak-hour state, is just one of the many memorable visual experiences seen during the delightful and very visceral play. The play clearly shows that for children when alone, the world is actually a surreal and frightening place, and beautiful too. The imaginative adaptation of the book with its unique staging and memorable design is startling and original, and once seen is never forgotten.
Sean Gleason shines as his often anguished dad, and Niamh Cusack is perfect as his kindly teacher, plus comic and very talented supporting performances from the huge cast in multiple roles. The play was the winner of seven Olivier Awards in 2013, including Best New Play.
National Theatre Live – Season Four (2012-2013), and first broadcast from 6th October 2012.
From 24th May 2014, there will be only three Premium Special Event Cinema encore screenings of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at 1:00pm Saturday, Sunday, Monday at the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Cremorne .
Running time – 177 minutes including one interval.
Please note that a 2 disc DVD set of the National Theatre’s 50th anniversary celebrations is now available to import from the United Kingdom. Please check their official website for more details.