The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a gripping story about Christopher Boone (played by Adam Landon), an autistic teenager, and his struggles with his autism, family life, and of course, the curious incident of the murder of his neighbor's dog. The story is an excellent one that fills the audience with genuine emotions that they share with the main character. My mind could meld with Christopher and I could truly see the struggles he faced with everyone around him and within his own mind. In particular, I thought all these moments of emotion were greatly increased by two things: the sound and the choreography.
For The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to truly grasp the audience, director Marianne Elliot had to bring us into the mind of Christopher. This was accomplished in part by the great sound. The sound played an important role in demonstrating Christopher's state of mind is his breakdown in train station, as he is overwhelmed by the chaos. First, a long, monotonous, bass-filled tone began. It slowly got louder and louder and louder and then quickly died down into a background noise, whereupon the audience became aware of the sound of Christopher's heavy breathing. This particular moment stood out to me because it seemed to show that Christopher's great struggle to simply make his way around the train station didn't cause a reaction or outcry among the other passersby. Either nobody noticed or nobody cared. The sound conveyed Christopher's emotion quite well.
While researching the play, I noticed that one of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time's six Tony Award nominations was for "best choreographer." This seemed odd to me, because the play is not a musical. Therefore, I didn't know why there was choreography or how much purpose it would serve. As it turns out, the choreography was very important. There was no bigger conveyer of emotion than the way everybody onstage moved about. The choreography could show wonder, as it did when Christopher was lifted and slowly carried around in a way that imitated zero gravity while he was fantasizing about being in outer space. The choreography could also show chaos, as it did in the train station, where everyone moved around in a way that was not quite organized but not quite disorderly, either. Looking back, I can see that this organized chaos was not only a good choice but an essential one. Christopher eventually learns that everyone in the train station is moving in a kind of pattern and uses his knowledge of the pattern to find his way through the station. Without this part of the play, which would not have been possible without choreography, the audience would not have seen that Christopher can make his way through tough situations by using his incredible intelligence.
According to Christopher, plays and acting are a type of lie. According to Anatole France, "Without lies humanity would perish of despair and boredom." If Christopher is right and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a lie, I couldn't agree more with Mr. France.