Thursday, 2 July 2015
Countdown is on as West End show heads to Liverpool
Provided By: Liverpool Empire Theatre
The countdown is on until the National Theatre’s multi award-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time arrives in the city for its Liverpool premiere.
The show opens at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre next month as part of a nationwide tour of the UK and Ireland. The play is also running concurrently at the Gielgud Theatre in London and at the Barrymore Theatre on Broadway.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will run at the Liverpool Empire from Tuesday July 21-Saturday July 25.
Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time received seven Olivier Awards in 2013, including Best New Play, Best Director, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design.
The New York production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was the winner of five prestigious Tony Awards, including Best New Play for Simon Stephens, Best Direction of a Play for Marianne Elliott and Best Scenic Design of a Play for Bunny Christie and Finn Ross.
The show tells the story of 15-year-old Christopher Boone. 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.
Playwright Simon Stephens said about adapting Haddon’s novel for the stage: “The adaptation was a really joyful experience. I knew two things in adapting the play. I knew that the key to it was the relationship between Christopher and his teacher. Although it’s not that central in the novel, what struck me was that everybody in life has a favourite teacher. Even people who hated school, even people who found school a miserable experience, had one teacher who they loved more than others and thought got them in a way that other teachers didn’t. I knew that if I could get that relationship right, then we could create an evening in the theatre that people could recognise themselves in.
“The other thing I knew was that Marianne Elliott had to direct it. I think she’s a visionary director, I think she’s a director of extraordinary imagination, but she’s also a very democratic director. This can’t be a piece of theatre that alienates people. It has to be a piece of theatre that you can come to if you’re 10-years-old or if you’re 90-years-old. It needs to appeal to people that have very high art taste in theatre, but also it’s got to be a family night out, and I thought that Marianne could release that really beautifully and really perfectly. Everybody working on it, the entire creative team, were united in wanting to tell Christopher’s story as honestly and properly as possible.
“All I ever wanted to do was to make Mark Haddon happy. He came to see rehearsals and the previews and the show at the National and in the West End and Broadway and he fell back in love with Curious Incident all over again. That makes me as proud as anything.”
Author Mark Haddon added: “When I wrote Curious Incident I was absolutely convinced that it couldn’t be adapted for film or stage. The novel is one person’s very insulated and sometimes profoundly mistaken view of the world. We’re stuck inside Christopher’s head from cover to cover. We see the world the way he sees the world. And there’s the problem. Or so it seemed to me. Theatre is radically third person. You can infer what people are thinking but you can do so only from what they say and what they do. I simply couldn’t imagine how Christopher’s story could be told with any integrity in this way. Simon’s genius was to recognise that I was completely and utterly wrong.”
The central role of Christopher is played by Joshua Jenkins with Geraldine Alexander as his teacher Siobhan, Roberta Kerr as Mrs Alexander, Stuart Laing as his father Ed, Gina Isaacs as Judy, and Clare Perkins as Mrs Shears.
The cast is completed by Chris Ashby (alternate Christopher), Emmanuella Cole (Punk Girl), Edward Grace (Mr Thompson), Lucas Hare (Roger Shears), John McAndrew (Reverend Peters) with Kieran Garland, Ann Marcuson, Paul Sockett and Jessica Williams in the ensemble.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is directed by Marianne Elliott, who co-directed the National Theatre’s record-breaking production of War Horse. The production is designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting by Paule Constable, video design by Finn Ross, movement by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph.