Where Mark Haddon’s book allowed readers into the mind, and special needs, of central character Christopher, Simon Stephens’ stage adaptation actually goes one better by vividly illustrating his thoughts.
Indeed the needs of those inhabiting the world around Christopher, especially those of his troubled father and mother, become much more of a dramatic counterpoint to his own world.
There are moments when the bright lights and other visual tricks of Christie’s stage set resemble a cross between an art installation and a fairground ride.
This version chooses to alter the much more dramatic opening of the London performance, which is unfortunate, and also loses one or two of the stage effects, which is forgivable, given the demands of a one-size-fits-all touring production.
But like so much of the National Theatre’s output it is exhilarating.