This specially staged production of the National Theatre’s award-winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will tour around nine secondary schools in Outer East London in partnership with Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch as part of the National Theatre’s drive to introduce new audiences to theatre.
The school tour is a 90 minute version of the National Theatre’s award-winning play performed in a the centre of a circle. The performance is then followed by a Q&A session with the students.
The whole story is told from the point of view of five year old Christopher John Francis, a child with behavioural difficulties bordering on autism, Christopher is presented as a representation of the variety of personalities and people in the world, an important lesson for all students.
We are taken on a journey with Christopher that begins when he finds a the dog Wellington with a pitchfork stuck in it and the journey continues further into his mind, with blasts of music and flashing lights representing this confusion and over-sensory perception connected to his condition.
The show was adapted by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens who spoke about the tour:
‘I have seen firsthand how inspiring drama is to young people in schools. I believe the arts to be fundamental to our society. We can’t afford to lose them from our education system. I am delighted that our play will play its part in introducing young people to the theatre’
Overall the play manages to do the tricky job of capturing the attention of the pupils watching it, the night is full of surprises, with props appearing from nowhere and when a prop isn’t available a cast member normally will suffice, as the cast is used in the place of doors and scenery. The students weren’t shy about asking questions after the show and the cast were excellent at encouraging this interaction
The schools tour will visit five schools per week from September 2018 and will also visit Doncaster, London, Rochdale, Sunderland, Salford, Wakefield, Wigan and Wolverhampton