Monday, 9 June 2014
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - NT Live
I know, I know but I saw this in the cinema and it was presented courtesy of Warner Bros so the film rights must already be out there! This was a National Theatre Live presentation and it was excellent. This is the first time I've seen a live theatrical presentation and it was an excellent way of getting in very close to the action. It was definitely a stage play but the direction and camera angles were quite cinematic. It must have been quite disruptive for the theatre audience with cameras constantly moving across their line of sight.
This is based on Mark Haddon's book of the same title. As well as being great in its own right, the story offers an informed insight into how someone with Aspergers/autism processes the data they sense and how they see the world. This provides a much more accessible way into understanding a little, the challenges faced by people on the Aspergers/autism spectrum.
The first 30 minutes of the evening began with a documentary presentation about the production and autism including interviews with some people on the Aspergers/autism spectrum involved in the performing arts. This set the play in a helpful context and for me enhanced the performance.
The lead role is performed by Luke Treadaway who himself is completely convincing as the 15 year old Christopher. A role for which he has deservedly won awards and critical acclaim. The whole cast is very strong. It's great to Una Stubbs still treading the boards with such energy and Niamh Cusack gives a particularly strong and engaging performance.
As a medium I guess this is cross-over as it melds theatre and cinema. I wonder if because of that it gives more or whether it actually satisfies neither medium fully. I'm not sure. I think I will need to try some more to form a better opinion. Is it fair to try and see this as either medium or is it something completely new? Either way it was a great evening and a very accessible way to engage with a stage play - but I wonder if the big screen comes up short by turning a three dimensional performance into something that is two dimensional. The characters were anything but. What was amazing was that there were only 12 people in the cinema! Well done Vue Basingstoke for putting on this autism-friendly screening.