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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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by John Andrew (subscribe)
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Enter another world
Production photo of original International Touring cast by Brinkoff/Mögenburg

Fifteen years ago, Mark Haddon's novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, entering the inner world of a teenager who experiences life differently (Christopher Boone), joined the canon occupied by The Rosie Project and Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Idiot.

Initially, it was described as a depiction of Asperger's Syndrome, but the author, after some people with Asperger's objected, wrote that The Curious Incident is "a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way".

The National Theatre faced the challenge of how to visualise the novel for the stage and gave some of the task to the playwright Simon Stevens. By all accounts, we are about to see how cutting-edge visual technology, married to Mark Haddon's insights, lets us enter a world where life is experienced intensely but also uniquely.

Production photo of original International Touring cast by Brinkoff/Mögenburg

Christopher is the archetypical "outsider" – obsessed with mathematics, alienated from the touch of others and astonishing in his highly focused literalistic grasp of detail. The production does not present him as a freak, but unflinchingly and affectionately.

Key to the play is the dead body of a golden retriever, which Christopher finds and whose murder he is determined to solve.

The whole cast plays many roles as Christopher's determined investigation leads him closer to the disintegration of his world, and makes him flee his home and take what for him is an alienating and terrifying train journey as he searches for his mother, whom he had previously thought to be dead.

Once again the hi-tech production brings us uncomfortably into the centre of a world of information overload and fear, as Christopher confronts and overcomes his daemons.

The novel was greeted as a tour de force.

The play brings it to life and is a brave attempt to allow us to enter an intense and very different world.

I'm very much looking forward to experiencing it.
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Why? Unique and spellbinding
When: 12-24 June
Where: Concert Hall, Corner Melbourne St and Grey St, Melbourne St, Brisbane City QLD
Cost: $99 - $149
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