REVIEW: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Birmingham Hippodrome

Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel is celebrating its 10th year on stage with a production that’s just as raw and poignant as it was on its debut.

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At the age of 13, I sat in my classroom as my teacher read pages of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Around a decade later, I took my seat in Birmingham Hippodrome to see the stage adaptation for the very first time, and it’s a show that’s stuck with me as one as stylish as it is evoking and utterly brilltant.

Such a hit was the novel, which was published in 2003, that it’s now studied by students across the country as part of their GSCE curriculum, and what a joy they have in seeing Christopher’s story come to life in this outstanding play.

The latest UK tour, which is playing at the Hippodrome until Saturday, April 2, marks a milestone for the play as it celebrates its 10th year on stage.15-year-old Christopher Boone (Connor Curren) has autism. He loves maths, strawberry Yazoo, space and his rat, Toby. But one night, Christopher is catapulted into an adventure that changes his life when he discovers his next-door neighbour’s dog, Wellington, has been brutally murdered.

Connor Curren (Christopher). Credit Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

As well as finding the culprit, Christopher must also tackle some of his biggest challenges yet, from sitting A-level maths to catching the train alone and leaving no stone unturned to discover some of his family’s darkest secrets.

It’s an incredibly exciting time for the show, which has been reawakened with the team behind it working closely with consultants from neurodiverse and autistic communities to make sure that it truly educates its audience.

What I love about this story is the insight that it gives the audience into the mind of someone with autism. Dark and challenging subject matters are handled with care and consideration, while the incredible staging, lighting, choreography and music and used with a level of genius that immerses you into Christopher’s world. It’s brilliantly clever. A majority of the set is made up of boxes with hidden compartments and even chalkboard elements to create a real visual feast.

Christopher’s story will resonate with many; from his beautiful relationship with Siobhan – played terrifically by Rebecca Root, to the relationship with those around him, and perhaps, most importantly, the pride that ignites within you as you witness Christopher’s sheer bravery and resilience. We can all learn a lesson or two from Christopher, and the autistic community for that matter.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Credit – Brinkhoff-Moegenburg.,

Curious is in a class of its own. The leading cast and ensemble are all incredibly talented, and Curren did an exceptional job in delivering what I’m sure is a hugely challenging role to play, so much so, that he barely leaves the stage for any more than two minutes throughout the entire performance.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing and reviewing many shows over the years, but Curious will always have a special place in my heart as one of the greatest and most important stage adaptations of the last decade. Long may it continue to educate and bring joy to so many across the world.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time runs at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday, April 2. Click here for more information and to book tickets.

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