July 29, 2015
As event professionals (or #eventprofs, a we’re know on Twitter), we like to keep abreast of the great and the good in entertainment, seeing things that will hopefully inspire us to put on better events year after year. Sometimes that involves taking in a West End show to help inspire us. Ah, the things we do for the company. Tough job but some of us have to do it.
The first thing to be noted about seeing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime at the Gielgud Theatre is that the stage feels exceptionally close to the audience, even when you’re way up in 'the Gods' (as we were). Despite being a few rows back, we still had an exceptional view of what can only be described as an immersive cube, every side of the stage taken up with what appeared to be lockers, whilst the floor is divided up into tiny squares. For what purpose, we would soon find out.
As the lights went down on the audience, the lights went up on stage in every meaning of the word. Hundreds of LEDs are manipulated into creating the various venues and spaces in which to tell the story, as our protagonist Christopher ventures through his adventure from house to house, attempting to solve the mystery of just who killed his neighbour’s dog. Because Christopher is severely autistic, he notes his plans down on the floor, often drawing perfect circles, which are projected back to us from behind the cast. Utilising the back screen as a chance to see in Christopher’s mind is a unique idea that could possibly find purpose in the events industry, especially for a significant product launch. The only thing that we could think of that currently exists is Digital Graffiti, which presumably works with similar technology.
As the story moves on to ever more interesting locations, the set shows quite how innovative it really is, some of the ‘lockers’ containing props, others forming stairs in a Truman Show-esque creation. And don’t even get us started on the London Underground sequence where a huge portion of the stage lowers and fills with smoke to conjure up exactly what its like amongst the commuters on the Bakerloo line.
When you combine the acting, story, set and lighting, it isn’t hard to see quite why Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime has been such a success on London’s West End and be sure to wait around after the play ends for an added bonus. A wonderfully entertaining, clever and funny experience, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is sure to have something for everyone to enjoy.
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By Henry Fosdike