Backstage at PPAC's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
We spoke to some of the stars, including two adorable (yes, adorable) rats.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time treats you to sensory overload — and I mean that in the best way possible.
A dog is dead, pierced with a garden fork. This is when we enter the world, well, the mind, really, of Christopher Boone, a fifteen-year-old on the autism spectrum. Played by Adam Langdon, Christopher attempts to solve the mystery of the dog's death and, in the process, uncovers some other truths that turn his world upside-down.
His partner in sleuthing is his pet rat, Toby, played by Jinkies (the rat). I met Jinkies, his co-rat actor Zeus and their handler Cara Kilduff, as well as Adam Langdon and Maria Elena Ramirez, who plays Christopher's teacher, Siobhan.
Left to right: Maria Elena Ramirez, Adam Langdon, Cara Kilduff and Jinkies the rat
Inside Christopher's mind, we see the world in a series of loud noises, flashing lights and incomprehensible words and numbers — a world seen from a mind that notices everything.
When asked if the rats minded all the strobe lights and noises, Kilduff explains,"The rats are in a covered container which muffles most of the noise. But they are also used to it by now and pretty laid back the whole time." No stage fright for these guys!
Kilduff coaxing Jinkies out with the promise of organic blueberries later.
"Toby and Chris have a special relationship," Langdon says." He has a routine with Toby, which is comfortable for him, something he can form his days around."
As Christopher's life spirals out of control, taking him to prison, London and eventually back to his home in Wiltshire, Toby is his constant companion, and even the audience comes to love an animal that is normally looked upon with revulsion.
Kilduff found herself in a similar position.
"If you told me a year ago that I would fall in love with rats, I would have said STAHP," she says laughing as Jinkies crawls into her jacket. "They are like little dogs, but smarter."
Simon Stephen's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TIme is onstage at the Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosett St., Providence, now through February 12. Tickets are $36–$78. For more information, call 401-421-2787 or visit ppacri.org.