REVIEW: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, Until Saturday, February 7

BIZARRE SHOW ... The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.
BIZARRE SHOW ... The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

THIS tale of a young autistic boy who sets out to solve a mystery surrounding the death of his neighbour’s dog certainly is a curious one.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is surely one of the most peculiar and wonderful plays to ever hit the stage.

Based on the novel by Mark Haddon, it tells the story of 15-year-old Christopher Boone (Joshua Jenkins), who is on the autistic spectrum.

After being found stood over the body of his neighbour’s dog, Wellington, he finds himself accused of the killing.

Determined to prove he isn’t guilty, he turns detective to discover who really did kill Wellington with a garden fork, and along the way, unravels another mystery that he must solve.

Christopher may be a bit of an unlikely hero, but he’s such a wonderful character. The very matter-of-fact portrayal of his condition is refreshing.

He thinks very logically and doesn’t like lies, meaning life is quite black and white for him. He often goes off on little rambling monologues that get that balance between raw portrayal of the condition and humour just right.

Jenkins is completely wonderful and lovable in the role, and the supporting cast members are brilliant.

They often pick Christopher up and fling him around to show his movements. The choreography is clearly impeccably timed and perfectly executed to create a really unique perspective of his movements.

The play sort of takes place on two different timelines. The action happens in real-time but is also read aloud by Christopher’s teacher Siobhan (Geraldine Alexander) and reflected on by the pair.

The staging is incredible and really like nothing I’ve seen before. The floor and walls of the stage look like the pages of a school maths book and illustrated with flying graphics, chalk drawings and coloured lights, they paint a fantastic picture of each scene. It’s simply genius.

Props like small white boxes that transform to become everything from microwaves and TVs to one of those little suitcases with wheels, are used brilliantly.

The play is wonderfully unique and brilliantly bizarre, and I just loved every second of it.

It’s hilarious, touching, gripping, intense, intriguing and just has everything you look for in a great night at the theatre.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time runs until Saturday, February 7. Click here to book tickets.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVicki