THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
When Mark Haddon wrote this novel of the same intriguing title over a year ago he opened up a whole new world of storytelling. The book was published simultaneously as a book for adults and a book for children. Mark is a brilliant communicator all round. His interviews both written and live are remarkable. (If you want to look it up use Bing for proper results).
Obviously the book banning community have jumped all over this novel. I tried to find out who bans books these days. It used to be a government and the church however it appears that now, book banners are those concerned people who use parental controls and make sure that children are children and adults are adults. For example they may be the kind of grown-ups that LIE to their children, then only to be confronted by the truth from the children, is just too much for them to be able to stomach.
Without having checked any figures I would imagine that banning them from libraries schools and public places would increase the sales enormously.
Although Mark expresses surprise and humility in announcing that he sold 6 million books, with the sales holding steady, the people who have caused it to be banned may fondly imagine them being read to children by the adults as bedtime reading.
Moreover the play has taken the book to a whole new level of originality. It appears to have finally broken through the box-office decision-making that has caused a plethora of shows based on something that's already been popular – therefore 'safe' to make them profits. Absolutely the theatre needs profits but the fact of the matter is that "Man does not live by bread alone" needs some serious consideration right now given the mess the lovers of Fred Nietzsche (banker profit heads) have landed us all in the thick of. And it IS a bit thick - It hasn't worked for the world exactly has it? I believe that all bankers and insurance moguls need to see this play with their families every Saturday matinée Strictly escorted by their Serco (EX music biz) buddies. This is not merely because it's brilliant but because it's extremely successful and is profiting many, despite it being ' New'.
The author astutely avoided references in the books as to why the hero had behavioural difficulties - because he didn't want it to be about some medical name for a syndrome (taken by many to mean a form of disease). However the publishers decided to go for the disability dollar because of society's fascination for the status of a disability. So they put the word 'Aspergers' on the book cover which most of the press felt duty-bound to cover as well. I suppose I'm adding to that by mentioning it here.(Noted)
The language spoken by the hero Christopher (played like a star surfer) by Mike Noble) Is reminiscent of the fair witness in Robert Heinlein's book 'Stranger in a Strange Land'. I like to think it may have arisen from writing for children which Mark Haddon had been doing with care for 13 years. He's also a parent — right?
Children feel at home in an arena of straight talk and openly reject the Oochie-coo treatment at ever earlier ages. Straight talk spoken by children is also charming and appealing to adults. Spock was an early progenitor of straight talk in Star Trek which laid the groundwork for aliens to Talk Straight as a matter of habit. Good thing too.
Back to the play. Michael Billington of the Guardian said that the whole thing was done with 'enormous flair'. Even the director Marianne Elliott was co-director of the play 'Warhorse' which says a lot in terms of sensitivity as well as flair.
This murder mystery about ordinary people living in Swindon was researched extremely carefully. You do have to be Particular when you're writing for children. They tend to notice things that pass the majority of adults by - as their brains become evermore sodden with the spoon fed mouthfuls of Euro-blended, adrenaline stimulating goo that the BBC and other TV moguls dish out to order.
No apology for leaving the story out. It's one long performance seen differently by each unique member of the audience. Although this statement may sound pretty obvious, the aspect of uniqueness is much greater when originality is the foundation — which it is in 'The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-Time'. Also all of the actors and actresses and everyone were brilliant but I'm not going to rave about them here because that'll spoil the fun when they get awards as well.
To NOT see this play would be a crying shame. When you book (the whole family mind) don't forget to take your parents too. It's only fair considering how much babysitting they've already done for you whilst you've been out taking in films, plays and gigs leaving granny to wean them off telly tubbies and dummies.