The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Birmingham Hippodrome Review

4-8 July 2017

Reviewed by Victoria Linney

Having read the book by Mark Haddon that this play is based on, I was very excited to see how it would work as a play.

As usual the staff at the Hippodrome Theatre were very welcoming and helpful. There is also lots of parking local to this theatre. Best bet is to pay on arrival at the car park and it will cost you approx. £6 with no queuing afterwards. The Hippodrome is a lovely theatre with a great atmosphere and very comfortable. We were seated in the front stalls and they were fabulous seats, but I have also sat in rear stalls and the circle previously and always had a good view.

Simon Stevens has done an amazing job of converting Mark Haddon’s book into a play. The set is simple yet very effective. At times numerous cast members are sat at the edges of the set awaiting their next part but it doesn’t detract at all from the storyline, it only adds to it. Scott Reid makes for a very convincing Christopher and Lucianne McEvoy’s character Siobhan is also like a partial narrator and really helps the play flow and be easy to follow.

The story is based on Christopher, who in his own words has behavioural problems. Christopher is a 15-year-old with Asperger syndrome, He lives with his father in Swindon. The first part of the play is about their relationship but also about Christopher attempting detective work to try and solve who killed Mrs Shears dog ‘Wellington’. He is a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and therefore takes the detective work very seriously. Trying to get information takes him out of his comfort zone as he has to speak to strangers to get answers. Whilst investigating who killed Wellington he discovers some surprising but interesting information about his own life and discovers who killed the dog. This leads him to go even more outside of his comfort zone, and he takes the train to London in search of his mother. Christopher takes with him his pet Rat, who inadvertently almost gets him killed on the journey!

The second half covers what happens to him once he finds his Mum in London and also his return to Swindon and rebuilding his relationship with his father. David Michaels is a great actor and I thoroughly enjoyed his portrayal of Christopher’s dad and the same goes for Emma Beattie who plays his mother. In fact, the whole cast were great actors.

The play really makes the most of the set and there are hidden cupboards and table that you don’t even notice until they are opened. I am amazed that the cast can even see where they are. The set is also used as a screen to help simulate being at the station, on the tube and to help the audience to feel somewhat of what Christopher feels in certain situations. It is a great addition to the storyline.

At the end of the show Christopher’s Dad gets him a puppy, who almost stole the show as the cutie got so many Awwwwwwww’s from the audience. Such a happy pup!

If you like maths then make sure you stay until after the end, as Christopher will come back out and educate you!

Both myself, (who has read the book), and my friend (who has not) would certainly recommend this show. We would suggest it be for adults and older children (theatre recommendation is 11+). This is due to the complexity of the story and also some of the language used.

There are a range of tickets prices starting from £22. I think they represent a good price due to the quality of the acting. We had brilliant seats it was a great show.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £22 (booking fees may apply).

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is at the Birmingham Hippodrome from 4-8 July 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com or call the box office on 0844 338 5000.

Birmingham Hippodrome, Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB | 0844 338 5000

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