“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” Review


The West Liberty University Hilltop Players finished their production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” this past weekend. Their performance ran from April 27-30 with a special “sensory friendly” show on the following May 1. Directed by Michael Aulick and assisted by Odessa Hores, the cast and crew developed a top tier emotional performance for the Hilltop.


“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is a novel written by Mark Hadden and adapted into the stage performance by Simon Stephens. Both works follow the first person perspective of a 15 year old boy with an extraordinary brain named Christopher John Francis Boone, played by senior Daniel White, who is living in Swindon, England. Christopher is living with his widowed father Edward Boone, played by senior Calian Byard. His mother Judy, played by sophomore Len Batson, died two years prior from a heart attack. 


On one night, Christopher discovers his neighbor Mrs. Schears’, played by freshman Daisy Deaton, dog named Wellington was fatally speared with a garden fork. As Christopher was mourning over Wellington, Mrs. Shears called the police resulting in him being a suspect in the murder. In turn, this causes Christopher to investigate who really murdered Wellington. 


Within his investigation, he runs into Mrs. Alexander, played by Isabella Costantini, who informs Christopher that his mother had an affair with Mr. Shears, played by Joel Nau. When Ed discovers a book that was given to Christopher, he takes it away; this causes Christopher to go searching around his father’s room where he discovers letters from his mother dated after the time of her opposing death. Finally, the truth comes out and Ed admits about lying to Christopher about the death of his mother. His mother is actually living in London, England with Mr. Shears. 


After Chirstopher receives this news, he decides to run away and live with her. After an eventful journey, escaping policemen and falling ill from the overstimulation of the world around him, he makes it to his mothers. Just soon after arriving, Christopher decides to return to Swindon in order t0 take his mathematical skills A-level. After an argument, Judy allows Ed for brief visitations and Christopher remains wary of his father. Finally, Ed gifts a puppy to Christopher; he begins to take his studies seriously and he is optimistic about his future. 


The cast and crew did an amazing job of bringing this serious subject matter to the stage while keeping it lighthearted.White, especially, did an excellent job of portraying a nero-divergent teenager trying to figure out the world. Also, a special shout out to Lighting Designer, Roman Hicks and the Sound Designer, Kris Marosz for bringing out the perception of the mind of an individual with an atypical mind. It was fascinating to see how these were portrayed.


The production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” was the conclusion of the 2023 Spring season of the Hilltop players. They will return in the fall with a variety of other shows that will be announced on May 6 after the Theatre Program Banquet.