West End play to tour schools across the borough

A scene from the play
A scene from the play

A specially staged version of the National Theatre’s award-winning play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is coming to schools across the borough next month.

The tour forms part of the NTs drive to introduce new audiences to theatre and The Lowry’s work to develop local engagement in the arts.

The production will visit schools Rochdale, Salford and Wigan including Lowton CE, Bedford, St Mary’s High, St Edmund Arrowsmith RC, Fred Longworth and Hawkley Hall High schools.

The educational project is a 90-minute version of the play performed in the round and will be followed by a Q&A session for students with the company.

The performance is accompanied by a learning programme which includes professional development for teachers led by the NT and the show’s movement directors, Frantic Assembly as well as curriculum-based resources and workshops.

The Lowry is collaborating with the NT to develop local audiences and engagement in theatre and reach new audiences across the region. They have worked closely with them on identifying local schools to take part in the programme, host training sessions for teachers and provide logistical support.

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.

Mr Stephens said: “It means the world to me that Curious Incident will be touring schools. I worked as a schoolteacher teaching kids 20 years ago. I loved it. I still think of myself as a teacher.

"I have seen firsthand how inspiring drama is to young people in schools. I believe the arts to be fundamental to our society. We can’t afford to lose them from our education system. I am delighted that our play will play its part in introducing young people to the theatre. I always hoped that Curious was a play that could be performed anywhere, by anyone.”