Play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime
by Simon Stephens
Starring Alex Sharp, Ian Barford, Helen Carey
directed by Marianne Elliot
performed at Ethyl Barrymore Theater NYC
May 23, 2015
I first read the book before attending this performance, so already knew the story. Director Marianne Elliot does a masterful job of taking us inside the mind of a very bright autistic adolescent, using an elaborate high-tech stage with modern technology to depict the overwhelming inputs that torment the autistic brain.
As autistic Christopher points out, normal people filter out most of their world, greatly reducing the amount of sensory stimulus to reach the processing centers of their brains. Autistic children have no such filters and whether intelligent or not, are simply overwhelmed by our every day world.
Like the book, the main character is difficult to relate to. He cannot feel empathy for others, thus challenging our ability to feel empathy for him. The acting by the Alex Sharp is superb, really carrying the show, and the direction and staging was a critical component in conveying a message that is difficult for most of us to grasp. By the end of the show, the audience rewarded the cast with a standing ovation. Beautifully staged and acted.