THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIMEPlay by Simon Stephens
Based on the novel by Mark Haddon
AT&T Performing Arts Center
Directed by Marianne Elliott
Choreography – Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly
Scene Design – Bunny Christie
Lighting Design – Paule Constable
Costume Design – Bunny Christie
Video Design – Finn Ross
Music – Adrian Sutton
Sound Design – Ian Dickinson for Autograph
Christopher Boone – Adam Langdon
Mrs. Shears/Mrs. Gascoyne/Women on Train/Shopkeeper/Voice One/Ensemble – Charlotte Maier
Siobhan/Ensemble – Maria Elena Ramirez
Mr. Thompson/Policeman 1/Drunk Two/Man with Socks/London Policeman/Voice Three/ Ensemble – Brian Robert Burns
Drunk One/Voice Two/Ensemble – John Hemphill
Ed/Ensemble – Gene Gillette
Reverend Peters/Uncle Terry/Station Policeman/Station Guard/Voice Four/Ensemble – Geoffrey Wade
No. 37/Lady in Street/Information/Punk Girl/Voice Five/Ensemble – Francesca Choy-Kee
Mrs. Alexander/Posh Woman/Voice Six/Ensemble – Amelia White
Judy/Ensemble – Felicity Jones Latta
Ensemble – Robyn Kerr, J. Paul Nicholas
Reviewed Performance: 1/11/2017
Reviewed by Angela Newby, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
The play covers the story of Christopher Boone, an autistic child who is on a journey to figure out who killed a neighbor’s dog and ends up on a life journey to figure out who he is and what he wants out of life. His obsession with objects and his need for precise language dictates his movements and actions throughout the play. While the play is slow at movements, it is only through these moments that the rest of the play is understood through context.
Director Marianne Elliott has brought together a fantastic crew and cast that pull off a performance that is impactful and touches the audience. All of the elements work together to produce a show that moves the audience through the understanding of those around us.
One of my favorite elements of this whole production was the choreography by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett. The creativity and brilliance of the moves was fantastic. Within the astronaut scene, the way the ensemble created the illusion of Christopher in the gravity-free environment was realistic and beautiful. Each of the train scenes was chaotic and seamlessly timed to produce a moment that stood still in time. Graham and Hoggett have created one of the most wonderful aspects of the play.
Bunny Christie’s scenic design was phenomenal. The three dimensional grid was a wonderful recreation of Christopher’s mind and led the audience to the realization of how differently his mind worked. The second set of the set was the light boxes that created the rest of the elements that are needed for the scenes. Christie’s brilliance brings the concept of the play to a new dimension.
Costumes also by Bunny Christie beautifully faded into the background. They were so natural and enhanced each of the characters. Christopher’s outfit of khaki pants, short-sleeve shirt, and jacket easily showed his personality and seamlessly were able to be incorporated within the play. The ensemble’s outfits were muted colors to help blend in with the grid and camouflage within the set. Christie ability to blend both costumes and sets together was magnificent.
Paule Constable’s lighting design matched effortlessly with the mood of the play in each and every scene. In the moments of anger outburst the red lights moved the audience to not only see the emotion, but also feel it. In the same way, the blue lights expressed the emotional feeling of Christopher’s parents as they navigate through his brilliance and autistic tendencies through both joy and surrender.
Video Design by Finn Ross was masterfully created to enhance the script. The outer space scene was not only scientifically accurate, but brought the element of Christopher’s character to life. The train scenes were just as realistic and added to the suspense and emotional connection to the characters.
Adrian Sutton’s music was louder than life and powerful. Each and every score was purposefully picked and allowed the audience to feel each and every emotion within the scenes. The music throughout the play is impactful to each and every element that Christopher experienced from frustration to complete understanding of who he was.
Ian Dickinson’s sound design was perfectly time and executed. From the train sounds to the knocking door, each and every sound enhanced the production and the understanding of Christopher. Without these sounds, each element would be missing a very specific part of the intricacies of the play.
Adam Langdon as Christopher Boone was marvelous. Langdon’s movements and facial expressions showed every single emotion that passed through Christopher’s mind. He followed through with every single element of choreography and smoothly worked through each of the amazing elements from walking on the wall to the gravity-free elements when in space. The fixation on trains from Langdon was realistic and so emotional. The depth of Boone was perfectly depicted by Langdon.
Siobhan played by Maria Elena Ramirez was so mild mannered and perfect as Christopher’s teacher. Ramirez’s soft tones and gentle movements handled Christopher perfectly and showed the need for others to love and validate his feelings. Within the ensemble, Ramirez blended perfectly into her new role and never faltered between the two.
Gene Gillette portrayed Ed, Christopher’s father. Gillette’s performance from the first scene to the end of the play was on point and poignant. Ed’s love of his son was easily seen through Gillette’s tender looks and slow movements. Though it is the vocal inflection that Gillette uses that completely made the play for me. The love and depth that Ed has for Christopher was wonderfully displayed through every second that Gillette was on stage.
Felicity Jones Latta as Judy, Christopher’s mother, was so realistic and raw that led my heart to break for her. Latta’s facial expressions and movements moved between flippant and completely lost on how to parent Christopher. In each and every scene the fight between these two emotions was seen in every being of who Judy was. Latta’s performance was beautiful and brought so much to the play.
The ensemble made this show. Each and every member played multiple characters that were all essential to understanding all of the tendencies of Christopher and his family. They completely personified each and every characterization and made each individual and special. The use of choreography was put on the shoulders of the ensemble, and they blew it out of the park. Bravo ensemble!
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a unique play that brings to light the realities of autism for one individual and his family. The play takes the audience on a journey with Christopher that will touch your heart and make you think about the world around you, the one that you can see, and the one that you can’t.
AT&T Performing Arts Center
2403 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201
Runs through January 22nd
Performances are on Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 7:30pm. Friday and Saturday at 8:00pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm and Thursday, January 19th at 2:00pm.
Regular ticket prices range from $25.00 to $170.00.
For tickets and information, go to www.attpac.org or call the box office at 214-880-0202.