The Scarborough Players’ production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time opens on Friday, April 7, at Scarborough Village Theatre.
The beginning of this play was the novel by Mark Haddon. He created an extraordinary first-person narrator – Christopher John Francis Boone age 15 years three months and two days. Christopher takes us along as he detects and then ventures from the safety of his immediate neighbourhood – his odyssey.
It is Christopher’s story as the audience enters his world – how he perceives his relationships, his actions, his needs, his decisions, and his brilliance.
He is different and though he may be labelled as being on the Autism spectrum (ADS), he is not like anyone else. As he detects and makes the most harrowing of discoveries, the audience is with him.
They feel with his father, Ed – he loves his son, but some days are more difficult than others. We see his father’s fingers fan out to briefly touch his son – contact, a hug.
Then there is Siobhan, his teacher, and another voice. Siobhan is the calm centre for Christopher. The others in the story appear when needed as Christopher journeys to his final discovery that: “…I will be a scientist. I can do those things… I was brave. And I wrote a book…Does that mean I can do anything.”
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is about coming of age, family, relationships, overcoming obstacles and labels with hope for a future.
Director Katherine Turner recalled seeing the National Theatre’s production when it came to Toronto several years ago and was impressed by its staging.
“How could we do that! They created Christopher’s brain and world in this amazing techno box on the large proscenium. Yikes! What was heartening is that the original production in 2012 at the Cottesloe Theatre was in the round without all the technology and bells and whistles, so there was hope for us. What I love about this play is its profound theatricality – other than the novel, I cannot imagine it as a movie with any of the same extraordinary impact,” she said.
“The play demands the best of us – our ability to collaborate, take risks, to go to where we have not ventured before and build an ensemble and team that buys-in with all their heart and mind.”
An important member of the ensemble, making his Scarborough Players debut, is Josh Maclean as Christopher Boone.
Though not having been on stage in several years, Josh’s work is extraordinary using the text, his imagination, and some shared experience to bring Christopher to life.
Joining Josh is newcomer, Jeff Grujicich as Ed, with Misha Harding as Siobhan, Meg Gibson as Judy, and a wonderful ensemble – Alma Sinan, Antara Chatterjee, Carolyn Williamson, Chip Thompson, Dave Corbitt, and David Eden.
With guidance and support from producer, Mary Nowlan and stage manager, Wendy Miller, a wonderful creative team is bringing Christopher’s world to life. They are Anthony Jones, set and special prop designer; Mary Jane Boone and Chris Northey, lighting designers,; Sidnei Auler, sound designer, Ciara Crozier, props coordinator and ASM; and Greg Nowlan as Master Carpenter.
Novelist Haddon was best known as an accomplished children’s author, with 15 books to his name. In 2003 his crossover Whitbread-winning novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, stormed the UK, before going on to become a bestseller internationally. It was printed in 32 countries and 15 languages. Haddon received widespread acclaim for his depiction of Christopher Boone, hailed as a truly fresh and original voice in contemporary fiction.
Playwright Simon Stephens is perhaps best known for his stage adaptation of the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Stephens has staged close to three dozen plays over two decades, including the critically acclaimed Pornography (2007), Punk Rock (2009) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2012), which premiered at the National Theatre and later toured on the West End and Broadway. It went onto win seven Olivier awards, then the equal record for a single play and won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play.
To order tickets for the Scarborough Players’ production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, or for more information, please visit https://theatrescarborough.com/scarborough-players/ or call the box office at 416-267-9292. Tickets must be purchased in advance. The play runs until April 22.
Scarborough Village Theatre is located at 3600 Kingston Rd. – the northeast corner of Kingston Road and Markham Road. The venue is a 248-seat thrust-stage theatre.
There is free parking and the theatre, located in the Scarborough Village Recreation Centre, is wheelchair accessible and has an assisted hearing system installed.Those planning on attending are asked to note that for the safety of the cast, crew, and other audience members, wearing masks is currently required.
The Scarborough Players are a member of Theatre Scarborough which also includes Scarborough Music Theatre and Scarborough Theatre Guild. Combined, the three companies have been presenting high-caliber community theatre for a combined total of more than 180 years. Each season, the groups present 11 productions — dramas, thrillers, musicals and comedies.
— By Ciara Crozier, Scarborough Players
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