Academy hosts National Theatre performance

Trinity Academy’s Year 9 students were treated to a specially-staged production of the National Theatre’s award-winning play ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ on 23rd October.

The event, in partnership with Doncaster’s Cast theatre, saw a 90-minute version of the play performed in the round in Trinity’s main hall, and was followed by a Q&A session for students with the company.

Trinity’s Year 9 students benefited from a Q&A session with the National Theatre actors

‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to life on stage, adapted by award-winning playwright Simon Stephens. The novel has won more than 17 literary awards and is widely studied in schools.

The play tells the story of Christopher John Francis Boone, who is 15 years old. He stands beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog, Wellington, who has been speared with a garden fork. It is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion.

Shiv Jalota (Christopher) in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
(c) Richard Davenport

He records each fact in a book he is writing to solve the mystery of who killed Wellington. He has an extraordinary brain, and is exceptional at maths but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of the 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.

Rosie Linsdell, Trinity’s second in English, who co-ordinated the visit, said that the play’s themes – centring on diversity – were central to the academy’s fundamental belief that ‘character counts’. “We are very much an inclusive community here at Trinity,” she said. “We encourage our students to recognise and celebrate one another’s differences, and aim to instil in them the need to show compassion for others.”

Chereen Buckley as Judy
(c) Richard Davenport

The performance at Trinity Academy was one of 60 such events nationwide, in a bid to bring the novel to life for students who don’t have easy access to arts events in the bigger cities.

Alice King-Farlow, director of learning at the National Theatre, said: “We believe that all young people should have the opportunity to experience and participate in drama, no matter where they are in the UK.

“We’re delighted to be touring this award-winning play to schools, and we hope that bringing Simon Stephens’ brilliant ‘Curious Incident’ to young audiences across the country will help to spark imaginations and encourage participation in theatre.”

Shiv Jalota (Christopher), Nick Pearse (Ed)
(c)Richard Davenport