…of the dog in the nighttime
I had no idea what the play was about. I just heard people rave about Wishaw, and its huge success.
The cast had changed a few times till I finally made it to a show, but I was not disappointed. Turns out the play is a book – the biography of a young man living with Asperger’s. A brilliant mathematician, incapable of relating to people in a way we, the non Asperger majority, are used to. Christopher, so the 15 year old boy’s name, lives alone with his father after his mother died. When he is suspected to have killed a neighbour’s dog he sets out to solve that crime, no matter what.
So between his school, where they don’t know what to do with him as he is far too intelligent for their lessons, his loving but hot headed father and the accusation the young man matures and finds himself a niche and the truth about what has been going on in the neighbourhood and in his own family. Because his mother is not dead at all – she had left the family as she was no longer able to cope with her child. Now she is writing letters to Christopher, letters his father keeps from him as he has told his son, that his mother died.
When the boy finally conquers his fears and boards a train to London to live with his mom (that doesn’t work out, btw., no surprise there) he realises that after acing his A-level maths exam years sooner than anyone else he’ll be successful after all, he’ll be a scientist and he’ll be in space.
Siôn Daniel Young is Christopher Boone and he is a brilliant talent. He shines both in his violent outbursts when everything is too much for him as well as in his simple pleasure just looking at the rain – because that rain is thousands of years old and comes from the stars. He makes the audience see the world through his eyes and it’s an amazing world to be in. His father, played by Nicolas Tennant, is a great counterpoint, his anchor in reality, who doesn’t necessarily understand him, but loves him unconditionally and fights for him even if the odds are against him. When Christopher’s trust in him is lost, it’s heartbreaking to watch him suffer.
One tip: do not leave your seat at the end of the play, there is another scene to come, even though I have to admit after seeing it: I would so fail at maths A-levels… LOL