September 6th, 2012

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NT Live Today: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, National Theatre

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time gets its NT Live today, so it will be broadcast live from the National Theatre into cinemas across the UK. As per usual, I will be at the Brixton Ritzy to see this.

Cut and pasted from the National Theatre Website:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Based on the international best-selling novel by Mark Haddon
Adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens
World Premiere

Mark Haddon’s celebrated, multi-award-winning novel is beautifully and imaginatively adapted into a stage play for the first time.

My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and the capital cities. And every prime number up to 7507.

Christopher, fifteen years old, stands beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog, Wellington. It has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in his book to solve the mystery. He has an extraordinary brain, exceptional at maths but 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.

I made a decision. I did this by thinking of all the things I could do and deciding whether they were the right decision or not.

Mark Haddon’s novel was Whitbread Book of the Year in 2003, and has now sold over 2 million copies around the world. Marianne Elliott co-directed the globally successful stage production of War Horse for the National, for which she won a Tony Award in 2011. Simon Stephens, twice Best Foreign Playwright of the Year, is the author of many original plays and adaptations, including Harper Regan and On the Shore of the Wide World, both directed by Marianne Elliott at the National Theatre.

The stunning trailer is here:

A full set of production photos are here:

For full production details follow the link:

The NT Live website, where you can find out more information about the production and also find your nearest cinema showing NT Live, is here:

Topline Summary - This production is outstanding. It is highly recommended by me. I would argue that it is unmissable. The production is sold out until the end of its current run so this may be your one and only chance to see it. What are you waiting for? Get your ticket in now!

Luke Treadaway (Christopher) and Paul Ritter (his father)
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Raks's Reaction

I read "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" when it was first published and, along with the rest of the world, totally and utterly fell in love with the novel. Now, over a decade on, the key things I remembered about the novel were Christopher's strong and powerful voice, his brilliant mind, and the plot being about Christopher's quest to solve the mystery of the murder of a neighbour's dog.

I was really looking forward to seeing this production and my expectations were sky-high. I saw the play on Saturday 11 August. The production did not disappoint one iota. I was totally blown away by it - it was OUTSTANDING.

The production really stayed true to the spirit of the book and so it had integrity. I found the play to be totally and utterly mesmerising and magical - just like the book. It was gripping from start to finish because it concentrated on telling the story, and the focus was very much on the central character of Christopher. Luke Treadaway's performance as Christopher was simply mind-blowing - he quite took my breath away! Finally, I loved the innovation in the physical theatre aspects, the props, the set, actors playing multiple roles, actors being on set even when they weren't in a scene, and the genius little touches eg train sets and trains running along all the different levels of the Cottesloe.

To sum up, this is highly highly highly recommended by me - it is not to be missed!

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The Mayor's Thames Festival - 8 and 9 September 2012

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The Mayor's Thames Festival is this weekend and, for me, it is one of the highlights of the year.

Cut and pasted from the Thames Festival Website:

The Mayor’s Thames Festival is London’s largest outdoor arts festival and one of the most spectacular, feel-good London events of the year. It is a celebration of London and the River Thames, one that is free and open to all.

A vibrant mixture of live music, dance, art installations, carnival, river races and street arts, the festival transforms the Thames and its banks and brings Londoners together at the heart of their city. Events take place on the river itself, the riverside walkways, roads, bridges and public open spaces from the London Eye to St Katharine Docks. Come down to the river in September and celebrate the cultural diversity and creativity of London in grand style!

Launched in 1997 with a spectacular wire-walk above the Thames, the festival takes place every September. It is delivered by the Thames Festival Trust, a not-for-profit charitable trust with an independent board of trustees.

Follow the link for all the information:

The highlight of the Thames Festival for me is the Night Carnival and the Fireworks Finale.

Night Carnival

Sunday 9 September 2012 7.15 - 10pm
Parades along Upper Ground, Blackfriars Bridge & Victoria Embankment.

An extraordinary, vibrant illuminated parade of 1,500 dancers, drummers, lantern-carriers & costumed masqueraders featuring music, dance and carnival from:
Albert & Friends Instant Circus, A.P.P.L.E., Art Start, Bloco Fogo, Caporales San Simón Londres, Elimu Paddington Arts Band, Emergency Exit Arts, Festive Road, Flamingo Carnival Arts, Fox Carnival, Godiva - Imagineer Productions, HAFAD, Inspiration Arts, Kinetika Bloco, Latin American Multicultural Group, London School of Samba, Mahogany & Hypnotick, Mandinga Arts, Morenada Bloque Kantuta, Morenada Intocables Londres, Paraiso School of Samba, Same Sky, SE1 United, Shademakers, Oshu Kanatsu-Ryu Shishi-odori and Truro School of Samba.

Full details here:

Fireworks Finale

Sunday 9 September 2012 10.30 - 10.45pm
Mid-river between Blackfriars & Waterloo Bridges

Photographer: Ray Wise
Photo credit:

The Thames Festival firework finale is one of only 3 city centre river displays permitted each year, so we work hard to ensure we pack a massive pyro punch, sending over a ton of fireworks up in a spectacular display on Sunday 9 September.

In 2012 we are again working with internationally acclaimed pyrotechnic experts Pains Fireworks, winners of the Montreal International Fireworks Competition 2007, which is considered within the industry to be the Olympics of the fireworks world. The history of Pains Fireworks has been rooted in London for over four hundred years; Edmund Pain started gunpowder manufacture in Woolwich in 1593.

Full details here:

I will be at the Thames Festival for most of the weekend and I am particularly looking forward to the Night Carnival which is one of the highlights of my year!