There’s a very big cherry on the top of the cake for the cast of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which returns to Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre from March 27-April 1.
They tour the UK through until September before heading off to Amsterdam for two weeks and then Toronto for seven weeks.
David Michaels, who plays the father in the piece, said it is all “almost definite”: “It is not just embryo. They are fleshing it all out.”
And then after Christmas, they should be heading out to Melbourne before travelling to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Beijing and then back to Australia for an extended stay, finishing late July, early August.
As David says, by the time he finishes, the show will have been in his head for just under two years – a remarkably-long time which means it is just as well it is a remarkably-good play.
A brilliant play in fact, as David says.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time received seven Olivier Awards in 2013, including Best New Play, Best Director, Best Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design and five Tony Awards on Broadway including Best Play.
The show tells the story of Christopher Boone, who is fifteen years old. He stands beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog, which has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in a book he is writing to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington.
He has an extraordinary brain, and is exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.
The current company started rehearsing in December and opened at the end of January: “We have been doing it for eight weeks now, and it is going down brilliantly,” David says. “It is a tremendous piece of theatre, and we are getting a mixture of audiences. We are getting school children because it is a set text; we are getting people who are seeing it for the first time because they missed it last time and have been told about it; and we are getting people who are coming back because they liked it so much last time.
“It is a piece of theatre that works on so many different levels. It is using state-of-the-art technology in terms of the screens, the diodes, the projections and the sound system. The lighting design is astonishing, and on top of that you have got the projections. But the piece itself stands or falls by the quality of the writing and the quality of the story, and it is fantastic.
“It is from Christopher’s point of view so it is never mentioned that he has got autism because he does not necessarily know that he is, but he goes on a quest to find out who killed the dog and also to find out something else that I won’t say. I have to see it from the father’s point of view. He is a very, very ordinary man who is living a very, very ordinary life trying to bring up this remarkable boy with all the complications that that entails. The show is full of life and hope and love… and darkness. But it is laced with comedy. And because we are all in Christopher’s mind, this production has allowed for the slightly off-beat things that happen…”
Tickets for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Monday 27 March – Saturday 1 April 2017) are on sale from Mayflower Theatre Box Office tel: 02380 711811 or online at mayflower.org.uk. Ovation Restaurant bookings: 02380 711833.
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