The Curious Incident of the Dog — Reviewin the Night

Startled by the initial blast of sound we were brought to attention by the sensory overload experienced by Christopher, played expertly by David Breeds. Christopher then brought us into his world experiencing safety in prime numbers and exact details of memory. Looking at the stage it was as if we were entering Christopher’s mind with the impact of his experience illuminated on the walls of the box. However, certain images and signs shouted and loomed over him so much that they would not, could not be contained in the box.

Balance was regained by Christopher articulating his thoughts by giant workings out on the floor that illuminated the stage graph paper walls. His Special Needs mentor Siobhan, played by Rebecca Root,was his ever comforting voice reminding him of how to work through and cope with his anxiety. Siobhan at other times was Christopher’s voice equally as convincing. His parents Ed, played by Tom Peters, and his mother Judy, played by Kate Kordel, were characters in whom he placed trust yet both vexing in their particular ways. They carried the audience into the drama and complexity of adult relationship exposing their individual limits yet love for their son.

Other characters played the scenario of those in Christopher’s everyday life and revealed how he could trust no one, as all fell short of his expectations. Having experienced London with our autistic son who found the impact of the cacophony of sight and sound excruciating, both Breeds acting and the stage audio visual were true to life. After such an ordeal for both Christopher and the audience the later inclusion of live animal was a welcome relief. Carried along with Christopher’s triumph of having achieved what at one time seemed impossible, we were nevertheless reminded by Kordel’s parting expression of feeling unable to answer Christopher’s question ‘I can do anything now can’t I?’ This play is a must see both for great acting, stage direction effects and the mix of shared trauma, heart-warming humour and illumination/education of the lived experience of autism.

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