Tag Archives: Joshua Jenkins

REVIEW: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

There’s little more one can say about a story once deemed unstageable by its author, which when adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens subsequently went on to win seven Olivier and five Tony Awards: this production of Mark Haddon’s, best-selling, award-winning, much-loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has finally arrived in Glasgow and never has a show been more worthy of the superlatives thrown at it.

Christopher, a young man with Asperger Syndrome sets out to solve the murder of his neighbour’s dog. And in the process uncovers some mysteries about his own dead mother while negotiating the vagaries of everyday interactions and human relationships.

In order for Christopher’s internal monologue to be staged, Stephens frames the piece as a play based on Christopher’s writings. The action plays out on Bunny Christie, Finn Ross and Paule Constable’s stunningly inventive set – a black cube of brilliant light, sound, animation and design, where the workings of Christopher’s mind and the locations of the story are beautifully realised. The originality of the design has to be seen in action to be fully appreciated, safe to say it is one of the most mind-blowingly creative stagings you are likely to witness and the detail is seemingly infinite.

The staging is enhanced with ingenious sequences of movement cleverly used to convey emotions and drive the narrative and a hauntingly evocative score by Adrian Sutton.

The most stunning aspect of this production, though, is the central performance of Joshua Jenkins as Christopher. Words can’t begin to do justice to this young actor. Simply he is awe-inspiring and truly deserving of any plaudits that come his way. Haddon’s creation is hard not to love, but Jenkins makes him truly irresistible.

This is a stunning piece of work and perfectly encapsulates the soaring originality of the book. One of the best things you are likely to see on a stage – as close to perfection as you could possibly get.

5 *****

Runs until Saturday 22nd August 2015

Originally published at: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-the-night-time-kings-theatre-glasgow/

REVIEW: Dunsinane – Theatre Royal,Glasgow

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This review was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews

Dunsinane – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Writer: David Greig

Director: Roxana Silbert

“What happens after the dictator falls?” That is the question Scottish playwright David Greig answers in his masterful work Dunsinane.

The English army, led by General Siward, are occupying Scotland: they have killed Macbeth and captured the castle at Dunsinane and are just about managing to maintain the uneasy peace. But unlike Shakespeare’s tale, this time the Lady is not dead. She is very much alive and well and exploiting every English myth about the mysterious Celts to plot her return to power.

Though set in 11th Century Scotland the examination of the effect of occupation on both the troops and the conquered populace has a depressing resonance, it could just as easily be Afghanistan or Iraq in 2013. Gruach (Lady Macbeth) perfectly encapsulates in one phrase the feeling of the native when a foreign power justifies a war in pursuit of peace in another’s country: “Your ‘peace’ is just another word for you winning,” she spits.

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The cultural differences between the Scots and the English are exploited to good effect by Grieg and for all the drama and intrigue the play is replete with unexpected humour as the troops attempt to negotiate the intricate politics and allegiances of the clan system and come to terms with the restless natives, their customs and the unforgiving climate.

The perfectly controlled central performance of Jonny Phillips is utterly enthralling, he has the audience transfixed from the moment he strides onstage and holds them in his thrall to the bitter end. Siobhan Redmond is hypnotic as Lady Macbeth and the pair are ably supported by a talented ensemble, in particular, Tom Gill as The Boy Soldier, Joshua Jenkins as Eric the Archer and Sandy Grierson as Malcolm.

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David Grieg is a writer of rare form and there is as much lyrical poetry in the lines as laughs. The action moves swiftly under the direction of Roxana Silbert and the two and a half hour running time flies by in the blink of an eye, leaving you wanting more. This is a compelling tale, vibrantly told, an unalloyed triumph and a pure pleasure to watch.

Currently touring.

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★★★