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White Rock Players’ show evokes autistic experience

Still a few chances to catch ‘Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’
White Rock Players Club’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time continues at the White Rock Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Rd. until Saturday, Feb. 19. (Contributed photo)

There are still a few chances left to catch White Rock Players Club’s innovative production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which runs until Feb. 19 at the White Rock Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Rd.

Playwright Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best selling novel has received a treatment thoroughly appropriate to the world of lead character Christopher Boone – a British 15 year-old on the autism spectrum.

Under suspicion of killing his neighbour’s dog, the young Londoner decides he must turn detective and solve the mystery himself. But while he has an extraordinary mind, attuned to mathmatical problems, Christopher is ill-equipped to interpret, or deal with, everyday life. And Christopher’s quest to find the real culprit, almost inevitably, leads to conflicts that upturn his own world.

Following the lead of the 2012 London West-End and Tony-winning 2014 Broadway versions, the White Rock production takes an unorthodox approach to telling an unusual story – and evoking Christopher’s viewpoint.

“It’s a coming-of-age story of an autistic teen, fervently told,” said first-time White Rock director Linda McRae in a recent media release.

She’s also passionate about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for personal reasons, she revealed.

“Working with children and adults who are on the spectrum, as well as being grandmother to one, I’ve seen the stress and challenges families face, but the unmitigated, blessed rewards as well,” she said.

“This is Christopher Boone’s story, as seen through his unique perceptions; thus our unique approach to telling it,” she noted.

“It’s avant-garde theatre – bold, innovative, progressive and experimental, it combines videography, lights and sound with a minimal set.”

READ ALSO: ‘Curious Incident’ is first White Rock Players Club show of 2022

Bringing to life this concept – which among other devices uses Rubik’s cubes as set elements – is the projection and video design of Demetrios Georgeadis, lighting design by Jamie Sweeney and movement design by Halia Himiak.

While the focus of the play is Christopher (Maurice Kimball), much of his story is told by teacher and sympathetic mentor Siobhan (Adrian Shaffer), last seen as the title character in the most recent Players Club’s pantomime, Robinson Crusoe.

Other key roles are Christopher’s father, Ed (Bryce Mills), mother Judy (Darlene Isaac), Roger Shears (Chris Carvelli), Mrs. Shears (Samantha Hussey) and Mrs. Alexander (Himiak); while various other characters – and disembodied voices – are played by John McCallum, Scott Kristjanson and Harry Pering.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is presented following all COVID-19 masking, distancing and vaccination protocols.

Performances are at 8 p.m. All tickets are $15 Wednesdays and Thursday, and $28 (adult) and $24 (students and seniors) on Friday and Saturday night.

Tickets can be purchased through the box office (, 604-536-7535) or

About the Author: Alex Browne

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