Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

At 6:30 we stopped by the TKTS booth and by 7:00 we were ten rows back from the front stage in the Ethel Barrymore theatre.


The play was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. I loved the book when I read it years ago, and wondered how the adaptation would work - would they be able to tell the story from the first-person point of view of the 15 year old autistic boy? The point of view changed but the meaning and themes of the story were brilliantly dramatized.

Christopher sets out to solve the mystery about the curious incident of the dog in the night-time, and his detective work leads him to confront truths people have been hiding from him, with seemingly good intentions.

The set was remarkably spare, making use of black grid lines and rear projection to evoke the inner state of Christopher's mind. Rich, vast, complex, stark, filled with facts and details.

When Christopher became especially agitated or lost in reverie, the other actors would lift him up and into space, where he appeared to tumble weightlessly, lost in a world of his own making.

Christopher can't tolerate physical contact, so the visual became a powerful metaphor of transcendence.

I don't think there was a dry eye in the house when the teenager hugged and played with the puppy that is brought on stage in the second half.

Uncomplicated joy.

The audience sees the same uncomplicated joy when Christopher tries to explain prime numbers and complicated mathematical problems to the audience. Something most of us will never grasp, but the happiness in the trying was contagious.

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