BWW Review: THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME Serves An Unforgettable Dynamic Performance!
On Wednesday September 12th, Arts Club's production of the play: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time had its opening night at the Stanley Industrial ALLIANCE THEATRE in Vancouver. This 2015 Tony Award winning play (Best Play) is based on the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon with the stage adaptation by Simon Stephens. Being the first show of their 2018-19 season, Arts Club did not disappoint with this impeccable show featuring an incredibly talented cast and compelling storyline.
The story centres around a 15-year old boy named Christopher Boone who makes it his goal to uncover the mystery of who killed his neighbor's dog. Throughout the play, Christopher discovers new truths about his family and faces his fears to allow himself to achieve his goals. Christopher is a very unique boy with extraordinary math skills and although never explicitly stated in the play, shows signs of an autism-spectrum disorder. As an audience member, you get to step inside the mind of someone with an autism-spectrum disorder and see the challenges that they tackle on a daily basis. To help with the process of creating the character of Christopher, Jake Anthony was brought in to be a part of the creative team. Having autism, Anthony was able to offer advice on he subject matter allowing for a proper representation of Christopher and his world.
Daniel Doheny (Netflix's Alex Strangelove) gave an outstanding performance as Christopher. Doheny was on stage for the entire show and had many detailed lines, which were delivered extremely well. In addition to his copious amounts of dialogue, Doheny brought a whirlwind of emotions to Christopher allowing the audience to truly feel his character's highs and lows. From his littlest facial expressions to his full-blown body movements, Doheny's portrayal of Christopher was indicative of a lot of time and hard work put into getting his character precisely right. Personally, I've seen a lot of shows with very complex characters and I can honestly say that Doheny's performance was one of the best I've seen to date.
Todd Thomson who played Christopher's father, Ed, gave another notable performance. Along with Christopher, Ed is also another very complex character that evolves as a person throughout the story. As Christopher is shown to not always be the easiest child to take care of, Thomson's character shows the struggles a parent can go through while raising a child. Thomson's stern demeanor at the more overwhelming parts of the play was very powerful as it allowed the audience to truly feel the seriousness of the conflict on stage. Despite the hard moments that Christopher and Ed have in their relationship, you could really feel the unconditional love Ed had for his son regardless of what happened between them. The various depths of emotion that Thomson brings to the stage made his performance absolutely exceptional.
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME was the perfect blend of both acting and technology. With the help of new Arts Club Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran, the show emphasizes the powerful story with the quality acting and minimalist set design while adding technological elements to bring magic to the story. When you first walk into the theatre, you encounter an open stage complimented with blue lighting, a sparkling background, and whimsical music. The open stage also included a moving backdrop piece accompanied by several arches stretching across the Stage Holding circular panels where images where projected throughout the play. As the show starts, you are completely enveloped in the storyline immediately as a main point of conflict is introduced to the audience as the lights go up. As the play progresses and more of the story unfolds, the lighting, sound, digital projections, and stage-magic moments intensify making the show increasingly exciting leaving the audience itching to see what happens next. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a spectacular show that brings together incredible acting and a great story. The entire show is put together so well that I guarantee that after seeing the show, you will be definitely satisfied!
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME is currently playing at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage in Vancouver from September 6th to October 7th. Ticket prices start at $29 and are available at artsclub.com or the Arts Club Box Office at 604-687-1644. Showtimes are Tue-Thu at 7:30 PM, Fri & Sat at 8 PM, Wed at 1:30 PM, and Sat & Sun at 2 PM. There is a relaxed performance of the show on Sunday September 30th at 7 PM. For more information about the relaxed performance, visit https://artsclub.com/shows/special-performances#relaxed-performances.
Photo Credit: David Cooper, 2018