The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Based on the novel by Mark Haddon

Big Spirit Theatre

Paradise in Augustines

From 20 August 2012 to 25 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

Big Spirit Youth Theatre company is based at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin in Hertfordshire and has been performing at the Fringe for the past nine years. Their latest production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on the novel by Mark Haddon, is told with an intensity and spirit by this versatile young cast.

Christopher Booth, sensitively played by Josh Sharp, is autistic but wants to go to university to study maths. He views his life through numbers and order. His alter ego, powerfully performed by Brendan Lucia, provides Christopher’s thoughts.

He is helped by his carer Siobhan, sympathetically played by Emily Miles, who empathises with his Asperger's and tries to helps him.

Christopher's mother and father have split up, although he is told that she died of a heart attack.

What follows is a story filled with emotion as Christopher tries to solve the mystery of how the neighbour’s dog, Wellington, died.

The ensemble acting is impressive with some imposing individual performances from Lewis Clarke as Chris’s Dad and Jenny Wall as his mum and a superb cameo performance by Elena Hancock as Mrs Alexander.

Director Becky Lee has created some tight choreography with compelling physical theatre and there is an effective soundtrack and multi-media projections.

This was youth theatre at its best, convincing, gripping and absorbing. Only a few tickets remain for this show; rush to buy one.