Mark Haddon, the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, says this story is about difference, not disability. The difference between Christopher Boone, a singular very special person and the society with which he interacts. Christopher, the young hero of the play, offers us a unique view of the world; a view that is often surprising and unexpected; at times full of wonder and beauty; at times fractured, strange and agonizing; and at times heart-breaking. Christopher is extraordinary, and his point of view provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon ourselves and to re-evaluate our customary way of moving through the world and relating to others. We can learn through Christopher’s difference to maybe loosen our hold on what we think life must be and broaden our view of what it might be.
We live in a time in which the acceptance of difference is strained. The so-called culture wars have created rifts in our society, rifts that are ever deepened by a demonizing of the other and a retreating into rival, tribal ideologies. If we ever needed a story to help us accept the other, this is the time.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time asks us to examine our own attitudes towards difference and the other, and to recognize the value of empathy and compassion.
Perhaps our young hero can lead us to a new place of acceptance, where we see all our fellow humans as equals, where we embrace our differences, where we live with empathy, kindness and compassion for all, and where we celebrate our common humanity.
I hope our play can do that in some small way.