Archikulture Digest
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Theater West End • Sanford, Florida

Directed by Ben Gaetanos

Starring Harvey Evan and Brian Dightman

Your best friend is dead, and everyone suspects you are the murderer. That’s a tough spot, and having a mental illness really doesn’t help.

That’s where we meet Christopher (Harvey Evan), in Theater West End’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. He’s 15 and far down the spectrum, as we say nowadays. His only real skill is math. And yes, there WILL be a quiz at the end of the evening. His mother has left dad, leaving Christopher in the hands of his father, Ed (Brian Dightman). Dear old dad wants him to sit still and be quiet, which is not really in his skill set. I have friends with pet rats, but the rat can only give limited advice in a case like this. Eventually Christopher bravely attempts to get to his mother in London. But he lacks any idea about money, trains, The Underground, or even vending machines. He makes it to mom on pure moxie, and at least at his mother’s flat, he can get some help.

This is a dark, disturbing show, accurately capturing and convening the confused mush-mash of the protagonist’s internal thought process. Being the weird kid makes him a strong candidate for the murder of his dog friend, Wellington. Mom is projected on to a dark intimidating scrim, and the rotating platform conveys the motility of Christopher’s thoughts and his poor focus on anything but numbers. Numbers don’t move around on him or make demands of him, and they play by very strict rules.

While long and dark, this is a gripping story with no lag in the action. The title is a bit of a trick, the dead dog is only mentioned a few times, and it’s not really the focus of the story. Instead you might expect something more “Baker Street,” but the focus is on a young man fighting a terrible, incurable illness. The plus for him is a potential career in mathematical proofs. Who knows? Maybe he can crack the Twin Prime problem. Who knows? But at least he’s getting help.

Theater West End

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