Now I would like to start this off by saying this was actually the second time that I had seen the show. BUT the first time was because I had to write a theatre review for my coursework which meant that I had to look skeptically at the performance and document the use of hydraulics and physical theatre instead of how the performance made me feel.
Both times I loved it.
The novel is brilliant first of all but I read it after the performance and I honestly don’t think it is a play where it is necessary to read the book before because the performance is so outstanding that it truly does stand alone from the book; and at the same time portrays it perfectly. It has a perfect casting of characters, especially of the central character 15 year old autistic Christopher Boone. The choice of casting this character as a seemingly older actor was a wise one, as autistic children do tend to lack childish aspects as they seem to see the world as ordered with certain rules and facts. But the character did add a childish, awkward clumsiness that does come with a naturally 15 year old boy to balance this maturity which overall meant he portrayed the character beautifully.
But Christopher was not the star of the show, the set was. I know that makes me sound like a true theatre nerd but even my friend who came with me gasped and her eyes opened wide at times. The actors rarely leave the stage so pull objects and props out of trapdoors and cupboards in the walls and floor. My favourite moment was when Christopher attempted to use the tube and through a stunning display of whooshing and flashing lights and a tube track hole in the ground, I felt as if I was at a London tube. It didn’t look like one to the exact but enough of the atmosphere had been created so the audience could immediately recognise the situation. It was this ‘Oh my God, look at that! I know what that is, how have they created that out of that?!’ that made the performance so great both times I went to see it. I thoroughly recommend the play.