Adapted by Simon Stephens from the best selling novel by Mark Haddon, Curious Incident tells the story of a young 15 year old boy named Christopher. Christopher suffers from Aspergers, which isn’t obviously stated as the show is not focused on his condition but on the different way he sees and interprets the world. One evening he discovers his next door neighbour’s dog dead in the garden. He then embarks on a journey to find the dogs killer and unravels many other secrets about his life.
The set is expressive, the floor and walls are covered in a grid pattern and the impressive use of lights and projection display the thoughts inside of Christopher’s head. The whole play revolves around insights of Christopher’s mind, the stage is very mathematical and the story reflects that. The ensemble sit around the stage on blocks staring blankly into the ongoing action on stage, until it is time for them to step into the scene playing different roles.
The storytelling throughout the show is quite unique, told through the words of Christopher’s book, the show is narrated by Siobham the teacher who is reading the book aloud. She progresses through the sequences of events in which Christopher’s story takes place, with the regular input of Christopher displaying his thoughts and feelings. Played by Geraldine Alexander, Siobham supports Christopher and she plays a significant role that allows the audience to delve deeper into Christopher’s mind as she seems to be the only adult who truly understands him. Christopher is very logical and direct, he is entirely truthful which brings a lot of humour to the show as he says exactly what he is feeling.
The movement is nothing less than flawless, choreographed by Frantic Assembly it was as impeccable as I expected. The sharp electric movements echo the pulsating music which are incredibly gripping and successfully develop the story further, particularly during the train station scenes as Christopher is travelling to London to visit his mother. The ensemble are slick and strong as they all move simultaneously to create different scenes such as a tube, the busy streets of London and the train station itself. The choreography perfectly depicts Christopher’s view on the world and how it moves around him, allowing the audience to gain a deeper understanding into his head.
Joshua Jenkins provides a phenomenal performance as Christopher Boone. His extensive research into the role is clear as his portrayal of the character is highly convincing. His performance is compelling as he struggles with adolescence, dealing with a broken family and the emotional conflict between his mother and father.
Curious Incident is a contemporary play that is profoundly thought provoking, engaging and utterly remarkable. I was absolutely astounded by the staging, movement and captivating story line.
Curious Incident is on at The Lowry until Saturday the 21st of November and tickets can be found here.