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Theatre Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

For as far back as I care to recall I have held a love for theatre. I’ve seen a wide range from stunning musicals; one which originally started out as Wizard of Oz fan fiction, another an interestingly staged dark humour play, I admit I only when to see because of the star-studded cast.
But on Friday night, my theatre expectations were blown to pieces and rebuild higher than before.
I have strived to make this post spoiler free!

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

For years my family has owned a book called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. One of those you vaguely recall enjoying as you read it, and its sat on a shelf since. However, when I found out that the National Theatre’s Curious play was coming on tour to my city’s stage, I found the book and re-read it before booking my tickets.
Good gracious.
I was not disappointed.
For those who don’t know, Curious Incident tells the story of an exciting murder mystery adventure through the extraordinary eyes of Christopher, a fifteen year old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. He loves maths and astronauts and hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched.
Because the story centres around Christopher’s perceptions of the world the scriptwriter knew that the play would have to bring those experiences to its audience. The original author, Mark Haddon, doubted his novel could be adapted for the stage or screen, but was miraculously and very successfully proved wrong.
In 2015 alone, it has won four outstanding play awards, including the prestigious Tony Awards for Best Play, Actor, Director, Scenic Design, Lighting and Choreography. This comes alongside its seven Olivier awards in 2013!

 

 

Using electronic sound, light and dark, motion choreography and incredible performances by talented actors, the audience is drawn into Christopher’s mind as he solves the mystery of the dog which takes him so much further than the end of his street.
And you leave with Christopher drawn into your heart. Five stars!

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The Amazing Truth About Harry Potter

A month ago, midway through my end of year exams and while surrounded by revision, I found solace in my favourite fictional world. After months of being unable to properly read for my own joy, I was struck by the unerring need to sink my teeth into a story. Something familiar and somehow comforting. 

 

Harry Potter books

 
The first time I read the Harry Potter books, I was of the age they were originally aimed at; around the 7-9 age range. They sparked a lifelong love of books and started my admittedly modest but ever growing collection. In such tender youth, and the extra 400 pages leap between books three and four, it isn’t until now that I am actually reading the fourth book, the Goblet of Fire. Nor have I ever read from cover to cover the fifth book, the Order of the Phoenix. Shame on me, I know.  

With the film franchise being one of the most successful in British history, both financially and in terms of remaining true to the books and casting decisions (with the exception of Lily’s eyes not matching Harry’s but I will not go down that road), Potter has become somewhat a national treasure; with spin offs in development now and wonderful casting decisions such as Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander it is sure to remain in our collective hearts in the future. It is certainly a personal treasure of my own. 

The amazing thing about Harry Potter is although it was originally a children’s book, it tackles such adult themes (orphanage, death, torture, prejudice, discrimination and war to name a few) and is so loved across generations. The first book was published in 1994, and so the original readers are adults now. But they carry the story, morals and love within them, to learn from and pass on. I even recently came across research, which suggested that we take in traits of our favourite fictional characters much the same as we adopt traits and similarities of our close friends.

And so, with my bedraggled original copies accompanying me in my handbag most places these days, I can delve into the depths of the extraordinary Wizarding World and inherit some bravery, loyalty, wit and cunning wherever I am. 

JK Rowling was right; “The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

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