The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time: a Review

My Mum called me in July to tell me she had got us tickets to see The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time on stage in London.  She had read the book with her book club and they had organised a trip to see the production at the Gielgud Theatre in London’s Westend.  Whilst I had heard a lot of hype about the book and could recall its front cover, (with the distressing cartoon of a dog, stabbed to death with a garden fork), I had absolutely no idea what is what about. So, being a literature graduate and believing you should read any book before seeing the stage or screen version, I rushed out and bought myself a copy!   I am so glad I did, because Mark Haddon is a fantastic writer and I absolutely loved it – and I think having read the book first, made me appreciate the stage production even more!

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*I have tried not to contain too many spoilers, but if you haven’t read the book, read-on with caution!*

The Curious Incident is the story of 15 year old Christopher Boone, who in the middle of the night discovers that his neighbours dog has been murdered, stabbed to death with a garden fork! Christopher, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, is a fascinating character with a brilliant mathematical brain. He only knows how to tell the truth and is an aspiring Sherlock Holmes! He shares the same intensity as Holmes and loves making lists and seeing patterns in the world and so decides he will take it upon himself to solve the mystery of who killed Wellington, Mrs Shears’ dog.  In the book, Christopher becomes both the narrator and the detective and sets out on a journey of discovery to solve this case.  Having never ventured further than the end of his street alone, the book sees Christopher’s journey taking him completely out of his comfort zone to the hustle and bustle of London.  Whilst he has an extraordinary brain, he struggles with interaction and understanding people, dislikes strangers and struggles with intimacy. The way in which Mark Haddon has written this book gives the reader a great insight into the way Christopher thinks and reasons, as well as explaining why he behaves in certain ways and I found myself completely understanding him and seeing his logic – you are transported into his mind.

After having read the book, I was really excited to see how they would have transitioned it to the stage, especially for example: Christopher’s train journey, a rather frightening episode on the London Underground and the street on which Christopher lived. How would these be represented and how would they help us to go inside Christopher’s mind like in the book?

Well, Simone Stephens’ adaptation was wonderful and very clever! The twist is that the stage production is as if, we are watching a School production of Christopher’s book! The set is simple but very effective, with square panels and inset lights, which reveal maths problems and graphs, as well as secret doors from which the characters appear and hidden compartments which they use to take props from.  At one point Christopher constructs a train track of London, with a steam train moving around the stage, an underground platform is revealed – when he must rescue his pet rat Toby and an escalator suddenly appears as if by magic from the wall…so that it appears as if Christopher is walking in mid air!

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I went to a matinee performance and Christopher was played by Kaffe Keating, who was utterly brilliant! I look forward to seeing what he does in the future!

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Whilst the book really takes us inside his head and reveals his inner thoughts and reasoning’s, the stage production allows us to share in his experiences of the external world and how this can at times seem very scary and surreal. The play features loud music and bright lights, the pace is fast moving and hectic, but at the same time the choreography is so beautiful and effortless that the story flows and moves from one part to the next with such ease. I found myself laughing more than I had expected and also with tears in my eyes more than once.

I am really glad my Mum got us those tickets and I finally got around to reading the book! I was not disappointed! Every single member of the cast was brilliant and the actor who played Christopher, Kaffe Keating, is certainly one to watch!  If you hadn’t guessed already, I can not recommend The Curious Incident strongly enough! But read the book first…because after all, that is where it all started!

Have you read the book, or seen it on stage? What did you think? I would love to hear!

Anna

 

Bellinis at Brunch!

At the weekend I went to London to visit some friends, two of whom used to live in Milan, but left about a year ago! It is always super fun to catch up with friends and as I can’t make it back for Anna’s birthday in October I took her to an early birthday Brunch on Sunday, at the Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings on Northampton Road.

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Both of us enjoy getting a little dressed up at the weekend and heading out for a lazy brunch, or wine-fuelled lunch and so I wanted to try and find a really cute place which was new to us both! I researched cool places for brunch in London and discovered the B & H Buildings! The space is really lovely and the decor is amazing! There are lots of different patterns and textures on the furnishings and the place is filled with plants and flowers! It has a really cheery atmosphere and all the staff were super friendly and helpful!

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We both opted for the poached eggs on a muffin with avocado, chorizo and pico de gallo (delicious!) and we had bottomless (yes that’s right…bottomless) bellinis! They kept coming round with a jug of bellini and filling up our glasses! It was fabulous! So much so, we had to move to the bar for a coffee before we left!

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A little merry we left ready to go on with our day and headed over to see the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace! Post to come on this soon!

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Are you a brunch or lunch type of person? Where is your favourite place to eat? Favourite type of food?

Anna

 

Things I Love Sundays

Good evening!

The end of another great week and what a busy one it has been! Only one more full week at home until I head back to Italy, so I will get straight on with just some of the things I am thankful for and loving this week…

  Macarons from Ladurée Quality quiet time to read and evenings spent writing   Meeting my Auntie and Uncle in London after not having seen them since I moved to Italy  1940’s Fashion Spending time with my parents Long walks in the country Staying with friends who used to live in Milan and laughing the night away Bellinis at brunch for my friends birthday Seeing the state rooms at Buckingham palace

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The ornate gates outside Buckingham Palace

I have lots of posts planned for the next few weeks, including a review on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time play,  photo posts from my break in Suffolk and weekend in London and how living in Italy has changed me, as well as how I am still British through and through.

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend!

Anna

Things I Love Sundays

Good evening all!

It has been another busy but lovely week at home and we finally had some sun! I even managed to do a little sun bathing! I have a lot planned for this coming week and am working on loads of new posts! I am trying to start posting more frequently and regularly from now on so keep an eye out!

What has been making me smile this week?…

  Full rainbows in the sky after a rainy afternoon Trip to the zoo, seeing sea lions kiss, lions hugging, feeding an elephant and a giraffe Walks in the countryside – Playing pooh sticks in the River Stour with my friends (who remembers this game?)   Seeing the utterly amazing ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time‘ at the Gielgud theatre in London Spontaneous invitation to a Golden wedding anniversary celebration Late night baths and listening to Classic FM Staying up late with my Grandma and laughing our heads off – And my cousin giving birth to a beautiful baby boy!! Lots to celebrate this week! – 

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Hope you all have a great week!

Anna

Things I Love Sunday

Why does the Summer always go so fast? I have already been home for two weeks and I will be heading back to Milan and work at the start of September! However, for now I am so happy to be in England, relaxing, catching up with old friends and enjoying the great British Summertime…..hahaha!

So here is what I have been loving this week…

Walks in the wood Games night with friends and being a pro at playing Taboo  Trips to London with my Dad and his history lessons on the Tudors in the National Portrait Gallery Buying pretty postcards Audrey Hepburn portrait exhibition  Reunion with my house mates from University and it feeling like we hadn’t spent a week apart, let alone three years! Wandering aimlessly around London’s canals Peppermint tea  Listening to Lady Gaga on repeat

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Tower Bridge as the sun was starting to go down

What have you loved this week?

Happy Sunday evening!

Anna