Young people's classic, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is being toured to five Salford schools this week by the National Theatre.
The award winning ninety minute play of the best-selling novel, performed in the round, has been specially adapted for schools by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens, and is accompanied by a learning programme and a Q&A with the cast and creative team, as the book is a set text for GCSE English Literature.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time concerns 15 year old Christopher John Francis Boone, who discovers a dead dog and dedicates himself to discovering who killed the mutt by spearing it with a garden fork. While the kid is ill-equipped to interpret everyday life, having never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he has an extraordinary brain and is exceptional at maths. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.
The play is touring to Harrop Fold School, All Hallows High School, Oasis Academy, St Ambrose Barlow High School and Moorside High School, as a collaboration with The Lowry. It's not just pupils who will benefit from the tour but teachers too, as the National Theatre is leading professional development, as well as curriculum-based resources and workshops.
"It means the world to me that Curious Incident will be touring schools around the country" says Simon Stephens "I worked as a schoolteacher teaching kids in Dagenham in Essex twenty years ago. I loved it. I still think of myself as a teacher.
"I have seen firsthand how inspiring drama is to young people in schools" he adds "I believe the arts to be fundamental to our society. We can't afford to lose them from our education system. I am delighted that our play will play its part in introducing young people to the theatre. I always hoped that Curious Incident was a play that could be performed anywhere, by anyone. The play is designed to provoke and inspire imagination and interpretation in its staging and inspiration in its audience. The tour will, I hope, provide the same kind of imagination and inspiration throughout the country."