Last night I had the absolute pleasure of attending the book adapted play of 'the curious incident of the dog in the night time' at The Lowry in Salford, Manchester. I had a plus one and so took my mum with me as we had both read the book many years ago and had been wanting to see the stage play for a long while. Here is a quick summary of the plot: "Christopher, a fifteen-year-old boy with an autism spectrum condition, lives with his father. Christopher discovers the dead body of the neighbour's dog, Wellington, speared by a garden fork. Mrs Shears, the dog's owner, calls the police, and Christopher comes under suspicion. When a policeman touches him, he hits the policeman, and is arrested, then released with a police caution. He decides to investigate the dog's death, despite his father's orders to stay out of other people's business. Throughout his adventures, Christopher records his experiences in a book, which he calls a "murder mystery novel". During his investigation, Christopher meets people whom he has never before encountered.." and this is when the story gets interesting.
I've always loved going to The Lowry, and have been there several times for various plays and events, the stunning architecture and puzzle of stairs never ceases to amaze me. When we first arrived we headed down a blue carpet to pick up our tickets from the lovely Rachel with whom I had been corresponding over the past week, and then made way to our seats. We were sat in the middle of Row M which is only 11 rows back so basically PRIME place to get a good view of everything. It's going to be hard to tell you all about the play and my thoughts without giving away too much so bare with as I try to get across my thoughts! I will say, when you first walk into the theatre you are greeted by a large gridded cube which is where the whole play is set, and set in the middle of this is a dead dog (don't worry it's not real) with a large garden fork sticking out of it's chest. It was funny to hear the exclamations of every person as they made their way into the room and noticed the dog.
Once the play started it didn't take long to become totally involved in Christopher's journey and I was physically on the edge of my seat in the second half. The cast sit on benches around the edge of the stage but you don't really notice as you are paying too much attention to the current scene. It was amazing how they created such imaginative scenes with a few props, some wooden crates and a train set. The music and monologues were spot on in creating the world Christopher lives inside. There was not one moment of dodgy acting or confusion over what was happening meaning you were never taken out of the bubble of the story.
There were some absolutely incredible scenes when Christopher is telling us about how he wanted to be an astronaut when he is flown around the stage by the cast members and it is magical. The play is hilarious, moving and so well adapted for stage. Without giving anything away there was a moment at the end when the whole audience simultaneously went 'AWWWWWW'. If you know me personally (which most of you don't so just take my word for it) I don't usually well up at movies or TV shows but I physically had to hold back tears at the end of this play and gulp a few times. As soon as the cast came back we were all on our feet for a massive round of applause. Oh.. and stay behind after the play ends for an extra scene (marvel style.) Weather you've read the book or not, this play is an absolute MUST SEE. It will touch every emotion you could have and you will leave gushing about how fabulous it was!