An extraordinary brain and a frightening story: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; at a Berlin cinema near you!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

What a summer.

There’s just so much to do in the wonderful city of Berlin. It’s still June and this month has been fantastically exciting. At the beginning of the month, I introduced you to the hip-hop, break-dancing fun of Mozart, I watched the hilarious stand-up performance of Bill Bailey and also did my first interview with a tall, lanky, German, English-speaking, comedian! I then went all glamorous and did my first press stint at the it’s so-hip-it-hurts Berlin Music Video Awards. After that, it was only a matter of time before your fabulousness and mine could be hidden no further, at the summer festivals that the city of Berlin organises for free!

Wow!

In May, I began to introduce you to all the lovely things that you could do in Berlin without the worry of understanding the very intellectual, but grammatically difficult, language of German. One of those activities was the rather wonderful Shakespeare production of death and destruction in the body of King Lear.

As I recall, I told you that Berlin is lucky to be one of the designated cities to have original productions broadcasted by the English Royal National Theatre. Live. What this means is that you don’t have to go to London to watch these productions and pay through your nose, but you can relax and watch them from the comfy seat of a world-class cinema, instead.

The Royal English National Theatre.
The Royal English National Theatre.

Last month, I received a ticket from one of Berlin’s very few cinemas in which you can watch original English Language films. The cinema is called: CineStar Berlin – Original. im Sony Center.

You can watch Hollywood blockbusters, Oscar nominated films, the English Royal Opera Live and live productions from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Isn’t that brilliant? It’s the cinema that I go to the most and a few weeks ago I chose to watch the National Theatre Live production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Curious Incident Original West End cast. Photos: Brinkoff and Mogenburg.
The Curious Incident Original West End cast.
Photos: Brinkoff and Mogenburg.

 WHAT’S THE NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE?

The National Theatre Live is an exciting initiative to broadcast live performances of the best of British theatre to cinemas in Britain and around the world. Launched in 2009, the National Theatre Live is shown in over 700 cinemas, in 22 countries all around the world. So far, I’ve personally seen three (3) productions. One (1) production starring John Lithgow in The Magistrate which was awesome, the second (2nd) production starring Helen Mirren in The Audience which was fabulous, and the third (3rd) production in King Lear which was amazing.

The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

WHAT IS THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME ABOUT?

Well, the play is based on the award-winning novel of Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens, and directed by Marianne Elliott. The book was originally published in 2003, and was the winner of more than seventeen (17) literary awards, including prizes in Japan, Holland and Italy, as well as the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in Britain, in 2004.

I remember the book being the darling of the literary world at the time, so if you haven’t read it, perhaps you should.

The stage production won seven (7) 2013 Olivier Awards including Best New Play, and has been hailed by The Times as ‘a phenomenal combination of storytelling and spectacle.’

The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

WHAT ELSE?

The story is about a young 15-year-old boy called Christopher who discovers that his neighbours dog (Wellington), is dead. It has been speared with a garden fork, and Christopher himself, is under suspicion, as to killing the dog.

Christopher records each fact in the book he is writing, to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington.

He has an extraordinary brain, is exceptional at maths but is terribly ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched, and he distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.

The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND REALLY GOOD ENGLISH TO WATCH IT?

Yes and No!

Yes, because it’s the theatre sweetie.

No, because you don’t need to get the words in order to understand the play. It’s pretty plain and what is a theatre production, if the actors don’t jump around, sway, and cry in a flood of tears? Without giving too much away: young Christopher goes alone on a very long journey, and meets interesting characters in the big and dangerous city.

The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

DO I “KNOW” ANYONE?

You might not know Luke Treadaway who plays Christopher the 15-year-old boy who has a unique perspective on the world, Niamh Cusack who plays Siobhan, Christopher’s favourite teacher, or Paul Ritter who plays Ed, Christopher’s father, but I bet you are familiar with the actor Una Stubbs.

The Curious Incident Rehearsal of Una Stubbs playing Mrs Alexander. Photo: Manuel Harlan.
The Curious Incident Rehearsal of Una Stubbs playing Mrs Alexander.
Photo: Manuel Harlan.

UNA STUBBS: Una plays Mrs Alexander an older woman living in Christopher and Ed’s street, who seems to know all the neighbourhood gossip. Una can be seen in such productions as Worzel Gummidge (1979-81) and (1987-89), The Catherine Tate Show (2005), Eastenders (2006), and of course famously known as Mrs. Hudson: the landlady of 221B Baker Street in the BBC 1 production of Sherlock (2010- ).

The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

MY VERDICT?

Sad and thought-provoking! I might be biased here but a British theatre production will never let you down!

Watching the theatre in a cinema setting is as good as being at the theatre itself. Whoever coughed up that idea is a clever fellow. Because you can:

  • Watch a theatre production in the comfort of (depending on your ticket), a luxury seat.
  • Wear whatever you want without the worry of being over or under-dressed although I personally dressed up. It’s ingrained in our soul!
  • Sit together as a group of 3 or a group of 20.
  • If you’re really squeezed, you can stretch and walk around in the stairway of the cinema. Somehow, I don’t see that happening in a “real” theatre.
  • You can bring your popcorn and beer into your seat but for more authenticity, buy champagne or wine, and brand bottles and glasses about like I did. It’s the theatre sweetie!!
  • Most importantly, quality theatre of the best actors on the British stage for only €18.00, in your own home-town or nearby!
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

WHAT IF THIS PERFORMANCE REALLY ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA?

Not to worry. There are more productions coming up that can be seen at the Cinestar Berlin – Original such as:

A Small Family Business by Alan Ayckbourn coming up in Berlin on 03.07.14.

Tickets for the National Theatre Live in Berlin are €18.00 for adults and €13.00 for children and can be bought online here. A wonderful bargain

Approximate running time: 2 hours 40 minutes, including a 20 minute interval.

For more information about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, please contact: The National Theatre Live.

For more information about Original English films or productions in Berlin, please contact: CineStar Berlin – Original.

The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a complimentary ticket, all opinions and the bottles of chilled wine I quaffed, are my very own! Every week for the months of May and June, I’ll be writing about summer time in Berlin, and what to do when you get here.

In the next few weeks, I will be writing about the exciting world of fashion, river cruising, and just having a jolly good time.

In case, you didn’t know, and surely you did! Berlin Fashion Week is taking place 08.07.14 – 13.07.14. I’m going. Hurrah!

Be there or be square! Or on the other hand, read my blog. July is going to be amazing.

Are you coming?

Watch this space!

In pain. The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
In pain.
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

Have you watched a National Theatre Live production? Have you ever read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time? Do you know Sherlock?

Are you coming for the summer?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post.

Share it! Tweet it! Like it!

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22 thoughts on “An extraordinary brain and a frightening story: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; at a Berlin cinema near you!

      1. They don’t really have English plays here unfortunately! There was a Shakespeare week here a while back but that was the only time I saw plays in English being advertised here.

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      2. Awww. You poor thing. I don’t know what I’d do without a hint of home. Mind you, when I first came to Berlin we only had 1 cinema that had original productions and even then your life was in your hands as they used to throw things at the screen! So. You know. There’s hope n’ all that!

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    1. Wow! That is so cool. It is such an amazing story. It must be really interesting to see the production in America too. ‘Really glad that your pre-teen liked it. My son is 12. He read the book when he was 10. He didn’t understand that Christopher was autistic but was hugely impressed at his memory. Thanks so much for coming by @DMC. 🙂

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  1. The title is a mouthful, but it looks like fun. I love live productions. I have seen Grease, Lion King, etc in London. Gotta check out the book then, seems l am one of the few who never heard of it..great write up . Makes me want to see it.

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    1. Oh you know me kemkem, I’m Queen of the long titles LOL! I love live productions too and you sure have seen a lot. Lucky you. I’m yet to see “The Lion King” and “Wicked: The Musical” as the prices were outrageous, the last time we went to the West End in London. In fact, it was far cheaper to watch the opera! I’d like to see “The History Boys” in person though as I’ve read the book and watched the film. It’s a great story.

      Thanks very much for the lovely comments kemkem. 🙂 🙂 Don’t be a stranger. Go and get the book LOL!

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    1. It really is and honestly, we know how lucky we are. I mean England isn’t far away but it does make things easier that we don’t actually have to fly to London, get a hotel, battle the Tube (the underground), spend lots of money on drinks and going out, all because we want to watch a decent English theatre or opera production. I mean, now we can even watch the New York Opera. In Berlin! How amazing is that!

      Oh yeah, you should definately get the book if you can. 🙂

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  2. Believe me or not, but I’ve never been to a National Theater. I always thought it was something I would not like – way too posh and boring, but I really feel like experiencing it in the near future!

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    1. Thatnks Agness. That’s the beauty of the National Theatre Live. You don’t actually have to be in London, you can be in your own country or hometown, and can watch the production in comfort. You can dress up or go in shorts. No one will care LOL! Try it some day. 🙂

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  3. The National Theatre Live sounds like a great concept and a way to open this up to the world. No longer limited by the seating capacity of just one theatre.

    I’ve heard of but never seen this play. I also recognise quite a few of the cast as well.

    Each time I read your blog Victoria the variety of options in Berlin just grows and grows!

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    1. It really is a good play and an excellent book. Whatever the case, if you’re not able to get yourself down to London to see a NT production, the LIVE broadcasting is pretty good. It’s a bit like the one and only live broadcasting of Dr. Who that was shown worldwide this year. Most Germans have never heard of Dr. Who, in fact, make that Earth (except for enlightened Americans LOL!), so I was enormously proud to introduce them to my world. The iceing on the cake was when at least 6 Dr. Who’s were present including my favourite – Tom Baker. It brought tears to my eyes.
      P.S. Thanks for the awfully good comments @The Guy. You’re making me blush. 🙂

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  4. What a great idea! We are in London for a few weeks and we’re thinking about going to see something at the theatre. In the end we decided on Let the Right One in, but I think it’s great to be able to see such high quality shows all over the world!

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    1. Thanks so much Andrew! You’ll have a blast in London of course, but isn’t it great that we can all bask in the glory of Britain’s great theatre establishment and all for the price of a take-away meal! 🙂

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