The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

THE NATIONAL Theatre’s adaptation of Mark Haddon’s children’s novel is like nothing else you’ll ever see in the theatre.

The story of teenager Christopher’s investigation into the killing of his neighbour’s dog is hugely inventive in its language, performances and staging.

The book is narrated by a boy with autism – and the production team have taken this as inspiration to create the world as lived by Christopher.

The set is a massive black box lit by thousands of ever-changing lights, creating audio-visual landscapes by turns beautiful and terrifying.

The ensemble cast flit from character to character, not only speaking to Christopher but surrounding him, lifting him, throwing him.

Physical Theatre like this can be a shade too clever, pretentious and baffling, but not in this riveting, emotionally draining, but ultimately satisfying play.

Everything’s there to push a strong story forward in ways which will surprise you if you’ve never read the novel.

The death-by-pitchfork of the dog and Christopher’s arrest on suspicion of its killing is the starting point of a story that reveals home truths that turn his world upside down.

• Bradford Alhambra, until Saturday August 5. Visit or call 01274 432000 to book tickets

David Knights