An entertaining and educational night at the theatre for Academy students

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The National Theatre's production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is on its first ever national tour and on Thursday 5th March, Academy students in Years 9 to 11 were fortunate enough to see it at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. The play is a winner of seven 2013 Olivier awards, so we all had very high expectations. It is based on the award winning novel by Mark Haddon and has been adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott. The main character is Christopher, a fifteen year old with an extraordinary brain, brilliant at Maths but who does not cope with everyday life well. For nearly two and a half hours we were captivated by Christopher's quest to find out who had murdered Wellington, his neighbour's dog. Dramatic atmosphere was created by amazing video effects, high intensity lighting and a stunning soundscape. The whole audience 'coo'ed' at the surprise climax, we all laughed at Christopher's literal approach to life, we sympathised with his Mum and Dad and we admired his teacher, Siobhan. It was an amazing experience, emotionally charged and great fun. It enabled us to think about people with Asperger's in a much more empathetic way. One student said, "It was brilliant acting; it seemed so real." A member of staff added, "the physicality of the play was so dynamic". It was a play that entertained and educated, and deepened the cultural experience of our students.