The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: A show like no other

The stage-adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel does not fail to enrich the audience with a unique theatre experience.

Writer: Mark Haddon

Stage Adaptation: Simon Stephens

Director: Marianne Elliott

Cast: Sion Daniel Young, Rebecca Lacey, Nicolas Tennant, Mary Stockley, Jacqueline Clarke

Theatre: Gielgud Theatre, London

It does always worry me when an adaptation of a favourite book gets produced whether it is for the stage or theatre but The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time does not fail to bring to life the characters from the novel.

The story follows Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old boy with Asperger Syndrome, who finds his neighbour’s dog has been killed with a pitch-fork.

Christopher decides to take it upon himself to find out who killed the dog and in doing so he uncovers a deeper secret that will change his life.

Director Marianne Elliott clear knew what she was doing when she set out working on this production.

With a narrative which heavily relies on logic and mathematics I was curious myself to see just how the novel could be adapted on the stage.

Through the use of the entire stage including the walls, the audience is able to see the world through the eyes of Christopher (Sion Daniel Young).

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Christopher draws on the ground, the ensemble pick him up and he walks along the walls pretending to be an astronaut.

Elliott has indeed created a magnificent production and together with Simon Stephens, who wrote the stage adaptation, the two have brought a first person novel onto the stage in the most creative way.

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Young’s performance of Christopher is truly outstanding. His ability to show the struggles someone with Aspergers goes through on a daily basis is perfectly portrayed.

Even the audience were drawn into the production. As Christopher loves prime numbers, every prime number in the theatre has a special task – to see whether your name equals as a prime number.

Even the programme enhances the production through explanations of the Pythagoras theorem and other mathematical explanations.

After studying the novel at college, I can now safely say the theatre production is one I would advise anyone to see.

For those who have or haven’t read the novel, the theatre production is a true, creative masterpiece with an extremely talented cast.

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Matilda The Musical: A children’s narrative full of adult humour

An amazing performance full of acrobatics, perfect choreography, puppetry and a terrifying headteacher.

Director: Matthew Warchus

Music and lyrics: Tim Minchin

Starring: Evie Hone, Craige Els, Michael Begley, Miria Parvin, Rebecca Thornhill, Charlotte Scott

Theatre: Cambridge Theatre, London.

Hundreds and probably thousands will know the story of Matilda – the young girl neglected by her parents finds comfort in reading countless books and develops unusual powers.

Well the musical adaptation by comedian Tim Minchin does not fail to bring the magic of the story by Roald Dahl to audiences.

Sitting in the theatre eagerly waiting for the production to start I couldn’t help but notice that I was surrounded by a children and young children at that.

Of course I knew the production was predominately aimed at children but I felt slightly uncomfortable. However, as soon as the show started I was transported back to my childhood.

I remember first watching the film adaptation of the classic tale and being mesmerised by the humour and magic.

Matilda The Musical did exactly the same for me but it was different, in a good way. The characters I loved growing up and those I hated (Miss Trunchbull in particular) were right in front me.

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So many of my favourite scenes in the film were executed almost flawlessly. I could not help control my laughter when Miss Trunchbull (Craige Els) threw poor Amanda Fripp (Ellie Dadd) just for wearing pig tails.

The poor little boy sat next to me was not overly pleased with this scene and was absolutely terrified.

The show is full of mesmerising dance sequences and choreography and you cannot help but continue to watch with astonishment at the young children having the confidence to get on a stage on daily basis to perform.

Evie Hone (Matilda) is likely to have an amazing career in theatre. Her performances of her solos, including my particular favourite Naughty, is amazing to watch.

I cannot express how nervous I would be to get on a stage even now. All the children were all stars in themselves and all deserve recognition.

Although not the star of the show but definitely one who keeps everyone entertain is Els’ version of Miss Trunchbull, the tyrant headteacher.

Els’ got into the character so much that many children were scared upon the headteacher’s arrival on stage, including myself.

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It is no surprise the success of the show has made it across the pond to Broadway. It is only a matter of time before the production is a worldwide phenomenon.

Matilda The Musical is both full of humour and sadness but is a master production.

Don’t forget… ‘Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty.’

Kinky Boots: A sexual, hilarious story of two unlikely friends

‘Sex is in the heel’ in this West End production of the Tony award-winning musical.

Directer and choreography: Jerry Mitchell

Music and Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper

Starring: Killian Donnelly, Arun Blair-Mangat, Amy Lennox, Jamie Baughan, Amy Ross, Michael Hobbs

Theatre: Adelphi Theatre, London

To say this musical is enjoyable would be an understatement to say the least and Kinky Boots does not fail at keeping you smiling throughout.

Based on a true story, the theatre-adaptation follows the lives of Charlie Price a shoemaking from Northampton trying his hardest to keep his family business going and Lola, a crossdresser from London.

After a chance encounter the two begin working together to create the perfect shoe for the niche crossdressing-market.

The show opens with the catchy Most Beautiful Thing in the World and even after two days this song still circulating through my head.

It is not surprising how easy it is to remember the songs. With music and lyrics by the iconic Cyndi Lauper should be a reason in itself to see the show.

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The two leads Arun Blair-Mangat (Lola) and Killian Donnelly (Charlie) both are exceptional in bringing to life these two characters.

Seeing a man strut around a stage in six inch or higher heels is a true masterpiece. They say practice makes perfect and Blair-Mangat seem to fall into the role of Lola naturally.

With a number of high tempo and energetic solos, a particular favourite by Lola was the emotional I’m Not My Father’s Son.

The crowd-pleaser finale Raise You Up/Just Be did in fact raise the audience and everyone started joining in dancing.

A History of Wrong Guys, performed by Amy Lennox as Lauren, is one of the funniest performances of the production.

Lennox got into her character perfectly and her solo reinforced the relatable feeling of falling for someone you cannot have.

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With a simple set design of inside, and occasionally outside the factory, the production relies on the whole cast to work together to create the brilliant production.

Despite ending on a high, it did take a several minutes to really understand why this show had been such a success but the standing ovation at the end is definitely worth it.

Full of ups, downs and incredibly colourful stilettos Kinky Boots will leaving you humming the catchy tunes and a desire to wear a pair of Lola’s Kinky Boots.

An incredible performance and definitely on my list to see again.