Review Round-up: Critics revisit Curious IncidentDate: 13 March 2013
The West End transfer of the National Theatre's production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time opened at the Apollo Theatre this week (12 March 2013).
Simon Stephens' clever adaptation of Mark Haddon's bestselling novel about a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome is like a cute dog that leaps up and wants to lick you all over. There's no point in resisting – and there's no need… The beauty of the evening is magnified by Bunny Christie's witty design... The novel gets you inside Christopher's head, but the stage version does more, giving Christopher's internal response to the world an external manifestation. That world is often a surreal and scary place, but oddly beautiful and bizarre, too… Leading a fine cast, Luke Treadaway is superb as Christopher, appealing and painful to watch, like the show itself..
…The show manages to be theatrical while remaining entirely true to the spirit of the book… What makes the production even more special is Luke Treadaway’s astonishing performance as the 15-year old Christopher. He is unbearably poignant in moments of distress when he kneels with his face on the ground and moans, but also movingly captures the character’s courage, his brilliance at mathematics, and his startling perspectives on the world… The play is staged in a versatile black box with clever use of projections to create different locations and key images… There are a host of excellent and often comic supporting performances, with especially fine work from Sean Gleeson as the anguished father who loves his son but hurts him terribly, and Niamh Cusack as the kindly teacher. But it is Treadaway - raw and ultimately ecstatic - who makes the evening so extraordinary.
This appealing and ingenious adaptation of Mark Haddon’s cult novel is lit up by Luke Treadaway’s vivid central performance… Treadaway was tremendous when the show premiered at the National Theatre in August, and he is now even better. Marianne Elliott’s production, which then felt dazzlingly inventive, has been rejigged to fit a larger West End space with different sightlines. No longer staged in the round, it makes a freshly powerful impression. Simon Stephens has done an expert job of translating Haddon’s writing into absorbing theatre… The complexities and peculiarities of his worldview are expressed through Bunny Christie’s magical design… There’s strong work from Seán Gleeson as Christopher’s father, Holly Aird as his mother and Nick Sidi in half a dozen roles… Treadaway is thrillingly good: I don’t think there’s a better performance right now on the London stage.