Following the success of last year’s schools tour, a specially staged version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will visit 60 secondary schools across the UK in Autumn 2019.
The tour forms part of the National Theatre’s Theatre Nation Partnerships project, a drive to introduce new audiences to theatre, working with local theatres and schools. From September to December 2019, the production will be performed in school halls at five secondary schools each week across London and touring to the National Theatre’s six Theatre Nation areas, supported by our partner theatres: Outer East London (with Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch), Wakefield (with Theatre Royal Wakefield), Doncaster (with Cast), Sunderland (with Sunderland Culture and Sunderland Empire), Wolverhampton (with The Grand), and Greater Manchester (with The Lowry).
The 90-minute version of the play is performed in the round and will be followed by a Q&A session for students with the professional company. The tour is accompanied by a learning programme which includes professional development for teachers led by the NT and Curious Incident movement directors Frantic Assembly, as well as curriculum-based resources and workshops.
Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning at the National Theatre said, “The National Theatre is committed to increasing opportunities for students to see live theatre. Simon Stephens' brilliant play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a fantastic first experience of theatre and we know from last year’s tour that seeing a live professional production in your own school hall can have real impact. We’re delighted that another 13,000 students will experience the production in their school this year, and we’re working closely with our Theatre Nation Partners to engage with new audiences and to build relationships between schools and their local theatre.”
Helen Glancy, a teacher from St Robert of Newminster School in Sunderland which received the production last year said, “It was brilliant to see all of our students completely spellbound by the amazing performance, some of whom will not have experienced seeing a live play before. Thank you all for providing us with such a high-quality experience which will hopefully encourage all of our students to feel that theatre is not just for other people but for them”.
Simon Stephens said, “Watching The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time play at Eastbrook School in Dagenham filled my heart. It was the school I trained to be a teacher and where I taught for three years. Dagenham has always felt as though it has been in some way ignored by the London cultural centres. To see a world class production of one of my plays acted with such brilliance and watched with such care and engagement and insight by two hundred Dagenham teenagers was thrilling. It felt as revolutionary as it was personally rewarding.”
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to life on stage, adapted by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens and directed by Olivier and Tony Award®‑winning director Marianne Elliott. The novel has won more than 17 literary awards and is widely studied in schools. Simon Stephens’ adaptation is a set text for GCSE English Literature.
The play tells the story of Christopher John Francis Boone, who is fifteen years old. He stands besides Mrs Shears’ dead dog, Wellington, who has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in a book he is writing to solve the mystery of who killed Wellington. He has an extraordinary brain, and is exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.
The full cast includes Cayvan Coates, Lily Knight, Marcia Lecky, Nicola McRoy, Evan Milton, Chris Nayak, Nick Pearse and Nadia Williams.
The production is designed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Bunny Christie and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Paule Constable. Movement is by Scott Graham and Olivier Award-winning Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton (who also composed music for War Horse) and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph. The Associate Director is Anna Marsland.
The National Theatre's Partner for Learning is Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Schools Touring is supported by: The Mohn Westlake Foundation, The Garfield Weston Foundation, Delta Air Lines, The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Alex Beard & Emma Vernetti, Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust, Lennox Hannay Charitable Trust, Priya Heal, Jill and David Leuw, Mulberry Trust, Newcomen Collett Foundation,The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, The Robert Gavron Charitable Trust, Carol Sellars, St Olave's Foundation Fund, Susie and Stelio Stefanou, and The Topinambour Trust.