The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time @ Bainbridge Performing Arts
One of America's most-produced plays 🐕
March 17th – 26th
I first read Mark Haddon’s 2003 novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in a crawlspace at a small theatre in Berkeley. I was a stagehand and had a giant lull during act one of a three-hour play, so I would simply latch the door behind me, sit in the dark, and make lovely brain images eight times a week before intermission and an act two where I was required drop fake lobsters from the catwalk, pull Salvador Dali on a rope, and hold a large, hot light on the other side of a curtain and pretend to be a train. (It was a weird play.)
The point is… this book, which follows the adventures of Christopher, a math-obsessed British 15-year-old, as his amateur investigation into the titular incident leads to him uncovering some major life truths, has always been tied to theatre in my mind, so I was elated when Simon Stephens (Punk Rock) and director Marianne Elliott (War Horse, the gender-swapped Company) brought it to the stage in 2012. A critical and commercial success, it won the most Olivier Awards in one season at the time, then transferred to Broadway and took home the Tony Award for Best New Play three years later. Now, it’s one of America’s top five most-produced dramas.
Curious Incident itself is a marvel of adaptation, perfectly capturing the book’s playful and accessible vibe even as it shifts away from the source material’s internal monologue. And though the original staging was strong and bold enough to tour internationally in season spots usually reserved for grand musicals and get regularly shown in movie theaters as part of National Theatre Live, its enormous power lands regardless of budget or theater size. Put the right people in a room and take it seriously, and it’ll change how you see the world. I have all the faith in Bainbridge Performing Arts to get it done.
📸: Courtesy Bainbridge Performing Arts