Tuesday 12 December 2017

Line of Duty actor Scott Reid gets 'Curious' about mental health in Bord Gais play

Scott Reid and Lucianne McEvoy in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Scott Reid and Lucianne McEvoy in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Scott Reid and Lucianne in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Scott Reid as Michael Farmer in BBC's Line of Duty

Sasha Brady

The National Theatre's award-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has arrived in Dublin.

The play is based on Mark Hadden's 2003 bestselling book of the same name, which follows 15-year-old Christopher Boone as he investigates the murder of his neighbour's dog.

Line of Duty actor Scott Reid plays Christopher, a role he says is a "beautifully demanding role" in terms of focus and concentration but one that he's enjoyed playing.

Highly intelligent Christopher is exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He displays several of the symptoms that characterise autism but the play is careful not to attach any labels to him, something that the actors also feel is important.

Scott Reid and Lucianne in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Scott Reid and Lucianne in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

"We're careful not to attach any particular label [to him]," Scott tells Independent.ie. "People aren't defined by mental illness and that's something we really want to show with this play.

"Everyone relates differently to mental illness. Each individual, each family... they all have their own unique experience with it so labels don't really work."

Irish actress Lucianne McEvoy, who plays Christopher's teacher and confidante Siobhan, agrees and says that the play has had a positive impact on audiences as so many different types of people have been able to relate or see something of themselves in Christopher.

"We've had school groups come to the play and children get in touch with us after to relate their own experiences," she explains.

"One particular girl emailed us after a show to say it was the first time she had seen someone like herself represented on stage. She could really identify with the main character.

"The entire play is seen through Christopher's eyes so we've had lots of young boys who've been positively impacted by the performance. And for us that's very important. We want it to be as authentic as possible."

Scott Reid as Michael Farmer in BBC's Line of Duty
Scott Reid as Michael Farmer in BBC's Line of Duty

The play has been just as well received as the book, picking up a number of awards in the US and the UK - including seven Olivier awards in 2013. For Scottish actor Scott, the show's success is just as important to him as the success of his BBC drama Line of Duty; a role he's winning rave reviews for.

"I've been so lucky with Line of Duty. I think as an actor working for the BBC and the National Theatre is the main goal. It's been incredible but like football managers say, 'you take each job as they come'."

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre between Wednesday, April 26 and Saturday, April 29.

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