The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

When watching a play or movie that has been adapted from a novel, you are sure to hear gripes about how the “book is always better.” In the case of The Curious Incident…, though, the theatrical version successfully navigated this perilous path — both the novel and the play have been rewarded with….” The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time went through this perilous path with both the novel and the play rewarded with awards and praise. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by British author Mark Haddon was published in May 2003. The story revolves around Charlie, a young boy who has a developmental disorder that is never specifically named. The novel is described as a mystery, but it is much more than that. The story starts with the death of a neighbor’s dog and continues with Charlie’s complex investigation of the crime. The novel is a diary of sorts, written by Charlie as he attempts to find the murderer of the dog and pass his challenging A-Level math exams. Beyond simply a compelling story, it is also a novel that rivals the classics because of its literary
The theatrical adaptation of the novel opened in 2012 in London. In 2015, the play made it to Broadway and won the Tony Award for Best Play. The play is a true interpretation of its counter-part, fully emphasizing the depth of Haddon’s novel. The play was designed for the audience to feel and experience the world as someone with Charlie’s disabilities might. The staging featured loud, complex noises, and lighting that became a character itself. The use of technology and super-realism transported the audience into the mind of Charlie and the fragmented way that he sees the world. True to the plot and ideas of the book, coupled with powerful and creative staging and performance, the play enhanced the heart-wrenching feelings
of the original novel.
This is not your everyday play. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a story with real meaning, which discusses themes and issues that many are afraid to approach. This is a story of true literary merit, and one that deserves attention.

Megan Kaplan

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