Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-time is an extraordinary spectacle

This show is relentlessly entertaining and well worth the price of admission for the production value alone
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The curious incident of the dog at night-time is a remarkable spectacle that delivers unique moments of wonder, unlike anything you’ll ever see. 

This is mainly due to the dynamic, electronic stage that bustles with personality and character. Acting as an extension of Christopher himself, projecting his inner thoughts to the entirety of the audience with such an exhilarating spectacle, it’s honestly remarkable to witness. 

Marianne Elliot has done a truly fantastic job with her direction as every single actor and every single piece of the stage is being used to full effect. The lighting and set design were incredible, with moments of tension and sensory overload heightened by sporadic lights or flashing catalogues of words and numbers being flung across the stage. 

A frankly remarkable sequence is seeing Christopher’s red path being lit beneath his feet as he ran across the stage or when Christopher searches beneath his farther bed, and the lights go pitch black. Only Christopher’s torch remains to guide the audience. 

The props are spectacular in their use. Seeing a working train set that blanketed the bottom of the stage left the audience in wonderment as the actors manoeuvred over the passing toy train. 

David Breeds delivered an exceptionally emotional performance as Christopher Boone. Having embodied his character, he lit the audience ablaze with laughter at each fantastically delivered joke yet silenced them all together in moments of dramatic tension. He wholeheartedly deserved the standing ovation he received as he even came back after the initial applause to give one last goodbye as Christopher. 

Tom Peters excelled in his role as Ed Boone; similar to Breeds, he captivated the audience with his melancholic take on a father just trying to get by. In addition, the ensemble cast gives a terrific group performance, as they each transition from one character to another with absolute confidence as they effortlessly transform from one character to another. 

However, a particular standout was Kate Kordel as Judy, Christopher’s mother. Her heartbreakingly emotional performance, notably her confessions to Christopher over her anxieties of motherhood, captivated the audience, leaving them speechless. 

Rebecca Root gave a compelling performance as Siobhan, Christopher’s caring teacher and narrator of the play. Her interactions with Christopher brought robust emotional chemistry between Root and Breeds, as their interactions were some of the most emotional throughout the play. 

However, Root’s fourth-wall-breaking humour felt out of place and detracted from the otherwise stellar performance every actor gave. Furthermore, the comedy itself felt like it was aimed at a younger audience as these moments were the weaker aspects of the play, however still vividly entertaining.

Overall the Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-time is an extraordinary spectacle with a dynamically changing set that brought alive Christopher’s emotions and an outstanding cast who delivered on all dramatic fronts but stumbled slightly on the comedic. 

This show is relentlessly entertaining and well worth the price of admission for the production value alone. It shows why the Curious Case of Wellington the Dog and Christopher Boone’s investigation has touched the hearts of millions of people for years and will do for many years to come. 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is live at Opera House Manchester until Saturday 12 March 2022.

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