At Wembley Park Theatre until 9 January

By: Dec. 02, 2021
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Review: CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, Wembley Park Theatre The National Theatre's acclaimed production of a boy trying to find his place in a world that doesn't understand him is back, running at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre for seven weeks, before heading out on tour in the new year. Based on the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon, Simon Stephens adaptation is a hit with all ages. Full of heart, hope, humour and honesty, this play speaks to all of us in nuanced and beautiful ways.

Investigating the murder of a neighbours dog, Christopher, played brilliantly by Connor Curren, sets off a journey of uncertain discovery and dangerous adventure - as they try to solve one mystery, but are then faced with another, more important one. Curren is a star on stage; they are so magnetic to watch. Commanding attention, their little nuances show they have the character down to a tee. They feel perfect for this lead role and are complemented brilliantly by mum Judy, played by Sophie Stone, and father Ed, played by Tom Peters. The two parents do well to convey a tumultuous family dynamic; one full of pain, heartbreak and disrepair. Another standout is Rebecca Root, who plays Christopher's teacher, Siobhan, with a delicacy that is beautiful to behold. Her warm demeanour brings light to an otherwise quite dark story.

Marianne Elliott, who is no stranger to directing a hit, following successes with War Horse, Company, and Angels in America, puts her creative stamp on this production. Working closely with her collaborators, the staging is incredibly innovative and playful; we watch as the world is built around us by various set pieces, projections and light shows. The entire ensemble work hard to keep us entertained. The majority perform many roles, sometimes in quick succession, and they do so with absolute ease. Donning different characterisations, accents and costumes, their dialogue is zingy, their movements fluid and their presence a joy to watch.

The tech is simply out of this world - it really shows what a big budget can get you. Bunny Christie's clean set puts us in a square cube, with portals embedded within them to access props. Projected onto that, Finn Ross' video design beautifully captured Christophers journey, along with the inner turmoil happening in his head. Paule Constable's lighting is the star of the show. Ricocheting around the room, it's a vibe at times, then deeply uncomfortable in other moments. Her intention is totally clear and it's electric. When it's combined with Ian Dickinson's innovative sound design, it is delicious to witness.

Celebrating it's 10-year anniversary, this play feels just as important as ever. A story of bravery against the odds, it just goes to show how special life can be, when you're allowed to be your authentic self.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at Wembley Park Theatre until 9 January, then on Tour

Photo: Brinkoff Moegenburg