Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time


Project Name: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Designer: Bunny Christie
Client: National Theatre
Location: Apollo Theatre


The winner of seven Olivier Award's 2013, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time has transferred to the Apollo Theatre, London. Based on Mark Haddon’s award-winning novel The National Theatre’s production along with Bunny Christie’s superb design incorporated ingenious automation into scenes of pure theatrical stagecraft. Movement and control of the set was handled by Scott Fleary as part of the base build, including the full LED and fibre optic installation.

This was a very complicated set that had many challenging elements that had to be solved within very tight budget parameters.

The largest engineering challenge is the back wall. This is a 4.5 tonne structure that must track from all the way upstage to all the way downstage. As this action happens a cantilevered staircase comes out of the wall and an actor climbs up the wall and comes down the staircase as the wall is moving. All these actions involved a lot of forces that had to be addressed so there was no danger of the wall falling over. To do this a track was installed under the stage at either side, and a metal plate connects the carriages in this track to the wall. In this was a wide footprint is given to the wall, but completely hidden.

The main element in the wall of the cantilevered staircase is a difficult challenge as to have a cantilevered staircase is already a challenge, but to have it coming in and out of the moving wall offers unique challenges.