BTS at The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Based on the mystery novel by Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is about the details and about being different. The story is based on, and told by, a 15 year old boy Christoper John Francis Boone who sees the world through the lens of living along the autism spectrum. Although the author himself never claimed to be any sort of expert in the field there are many details woven in the story. Christopher has a brilliant mind but struggles with everyday interactions.  Since the book published in 2003, it’s been popular amongst book clubs as well as high school classrooms. The “who did it?” mystery has been adapted into a play by Simon Stephens  is now in Toronto.  Our team will be providing a full review of the show shortly!

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
some of the props ready for use during the play. I took this photo behind the scenes

In the meantime, we were invited to go behind the scenes to learn more about this highly technical and detailed production. We learned that while many of the details are known to the cast and crew, much of it won’t be as obvious to the audience.

Here are 10 fascinating details about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:

Mark Haddon’s novel was published in 2003 and was the winner of more than 17 literary awards, including prizes in the US, Japan, Holland and Italy, as well as the prestigious Whitbread Book of the Year Award in the UK in 2004. The novel has been translated into 44 languages and sold more than 5.5 million copies world-wide.

In the stage production, a 250 piece train set Christopher builds include iconic London (UK) landmarks Big Ben and the London Eye.

Adrian Sutton, who wrote the music for the show, looked at how Christopher adores prime numbers to create the score. All the notes in the music for this show are prime numbers.

Joshua Jenkins, who plays Christopher, tells us he loves the relationship between the parents and Christopher and says he still sways back and forth on his personal view. He still doesn’t know who’s right or wrong. “I think that’s the most important part of Curious. It’s far more about the family dynamic and how people treat Christopher and how they deal with it.”

Joshua Jenkins (Christopher Boone) - Curious Incident International Tour. Photo Brinkhoff Mögenburg
Joshua Jenkins (Christopher Boone) – Curious Incident International Tour. Photo Brinkhoff Mögenburg

The story includes Toby, the rat. There is one fake rat but also three live rats on set.  No live rodents are harmed in the show!

Props used in the show includes an endless supply of white chalk.  Fine details are found right down to real addresses on letters, authentic math exams, and Christopher’s “green book” includes hand writing and details by the original writer in the novel.

As part of the training and learning for this production, cast visited with schools and families of children living on the autism spectrum to better understand everyday situations.

For the complex movements in the show, Frantic Assembly helped with choreography. Joshua tells us that it’s rigorous “boot camp” training that is ongoing.

892 LED lights are incorporated into the stage set and constantly changes  to offer a more immersive and unique theatre experience for the audience. The set is described to have a personality of it’s own and is considered to be part of the cast and not just a background.

The National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is already winner of 7 Olivier Awards and 5 Tony Awards including ‘Best Play’.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is currently on a world tour is on stage at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto to November 19, 2017. For more information visit mirvish.com 

 

 

Sonya Davidson
About Sonya Davidson 574 Articles
Born and raised in Toronto, this city girl covers the latest in arts, culture, food, and style. She also shares interesting stories about Toronto's people, places, and things. Follow @theculturepearl on Instagram and Twitter.