The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime has had a 5 year-long run on the West End. Now as a person who has neither seen the show (yet) or read the book this is a very strange topic to write about. However I recently went to see the farewell interview with the creative team, the playwright Simon Stephens, and the novels author Mark Haddon. During the interview I found out the extremely interesting story of how this play came to be and the creative process behind such an innovative piece of work.
The show itself is multi-award winning with seven Olivier Awards and five Tony Awards and has been praised as incredibly innovative in set design. Most of this innovation seems to come from its origin as a collaboration with The National Theatre; the funding here allows directors and creative teams to take more risks with their work. Learning from the director Marianne Elliot and Set Designer Bunny Christie how some of the things they have done would never have been possible without the funding that The National Theatre gives new productions really hit home with me the importance of arts funding. The funding is a crucial aspect of productions such as Curious Incident as they have large technical aspects and therefore large budgets, the large budget also allows for huge amounts of rehearsal time making all the physical action cleaner and more polished. Following a question from the audience Simon Stephens said he was not worried about Curious Incident leaving the West End as the amount of innovative work being produced and the people currently making art was inspiring, as someone who hopefully will be creating art soon this was very inspiring in itself.
The interview also allowed the audience to see the amount of work that goes into different aspects of the creative process, one hugely focused on was the music score. Created by Adrian Sutton this was hugely inspired by both the novel and the script, he said that having a daunting blank canvas was helped by the focus on prime numbers that the main character Christopher has. Most of the score was created with prime numbers in mind even using frequencies that are prime numbers. The small details like this that are not usually apparent to the audience show the amount of dedication the team put into creating such an accurate and detailed piece of performance.
Listening to the whole creative team talk about their experience was hugely inspirational and shows how long creating something great can truly take. My ticket to this event was only £5 and I had a marvellous view from the stalls. I am making plans, as I write this, to go see the show on its UK national tour once I am home. I’m now desperate to see this show and many more over the summer months. If you do have the chance to go see the show or one of these interviews I would highly suggest it, the theatre itself is beautiful and everyone was super helpful in getting my tickets and showing me where to go.
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