“The Curios Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” – black comedy about diversity stereotypes

Yesterday evening the actors of NI Drama Theatre from Skopje set an urban drama by Simon Stephen’s text, based on the Mark Haddon’s novel, directed by the brilliant Zoja Buzalkovska at Ohrid Summer Festival.

Within the drama Festival repertoire they showed topmost acting, a high level of concentration and condition through the play “The Curios Incident of the Dog in the Night Time”, a play that surfaces the stereotypes for people with autism.

The story takes place in Swindon and London, and it revolves round the 15-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone, a mathematics genius with behavioural issues on the autistic spectrum. Christopher needs to solve a mystery. Someone has killed the neighbour’s dog and Christopher was initially arrested but later released. In his attempt to find the killer, and going against his father’s advice, Christopher starts his own investigation asking questions and writing the answers in a notebook.

The world of the main character is played by Damjan Cvetanoski, the world of the “special”, “different”, “excluded”, “mocked”, “underestimated”.

– This is a play of diversities, for our tolerance for diversity, for a special world of Cristopher where  there are special rules and handling the neuro-atypical world with his neuro-atypical world. We have had quite an intensive physical process. All of us were taught parkour, urban jumping. For me personally,  the role was a huge challenge and something I haven’t worked on so far, – says Cvetanoski.

The actress Emilija Micevska Trajkovikj played Cristopher’s mother in the play.

–       The play itself had many complex family relations. It was a challenge for me to prepare and understand Christopher’s mother because the child is special and amazing, and at one moment she considers leaving to be a better option because she thinks she is not good enough and cannot handle all life situations. Working with Zoja Buzalkovska is amazing. Rehearsals with her are always nice because she works with actors amazingly, – says Micevska Trajkovikj.

The story in “The Curios Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” is told in a film language, very dynamically, with quickly changing situations, many complex problems and questions worked in a very fun, sometimes humorous way.

– It is always a challenge to put such structure into theatre, to tell a story in a theatre, especially in ours with low technical resources. It was a real challenge to use from one side a MerHund language in theatre, and from the other side parkour technique or free running technique, – says the director Zoja Buzalkovska.

She adds that it is always a challenge to work with the team of the NI Dramski Theatre – Skopje, which she considers her squad.

– When there is a text which is contemporary and modern, the first idea that comes to my mind is working with the team of the Drama Theatre from Skopje. I consider it as my theatre because the first play I made was there, I graduated there and I really collaborate with them a lot. Since 2014, this is my third play working with Dramski Theatre, – explains Buzalkovska.

The scenographer of the play “The Curios Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” is Konstantin Trpenoski, the costume design by Elena Vangelovska and Rade Vasilev, the choreography and free running technique by Simon Simonovski, whereas the music was created by David Angelevski.