Monday, November 10, 2008


Now on its full blown Artistry, our very majestic wizard turns to a remarkable sex symbol.

Equus, written by Peter Shaffer, the Tony Award winning author of Amadeus, is the powerful and provocative story of a stable boy and a psychiatrist who seek to understand the sexual and religious mystery which leads to a climatic and unbelievable event. Daniel Radcliffe, the young international star of the popular Harry Potter films, plays the stable boy. Richard Griffiths, who plays the psychiatrist, was last seen on Broadway in The History Boys for which he won a Tony Award.

"One weekend I was driving with a friend through the bleak countryside. We passed a stable. Suddenly he was reminded by it of an alarming crime, which he had heard about recently at a dinner party in London. He knew only one horrible detail, and his complete mention of it could barely have lasted a minute – but it was enough to arouse in me an intense fascination...”
Peter Shaffer

Alan Strang (Daniel Radcliffe) seems a normal, obedient 17-year old with a passion for horses. Then one night he blinds six horses with a hoof pick. What drove him to it? His life seems routine, his family loving, his pursuits harmless and yet he has been placed under psychiatric surveillance - an unresponsive patient who is woken each night by terrible nightmares. Only psychiatrist Martin Dysart (Richard Griffiths) seems able to grasp the answer to this psychological puzzle.

Richard Griffiths, whose incredible stage and screen career spans two decades and who won a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway production of The History Boys, stars alongside Daniel Radcliffe, best known for playing Harry Potter in all five of the feature films based on J.K. Rowling's best-selling books

However, numerous other issues inform the narrative. Most important are religious and ritual sacrifice themes, and the manner in which character Alan Strang constructs a personal theology involving the horses and the supreme godhead, "Equus". Alan sees the horses as representative of God and confuses his adoration of his "God" with sexual attraction. Also important is Shaffer's examination of the conflict between personal values and satisfaction and societal mores, expectations and institutions. In reference to the play's classical structure, themes and characterization, Shaffer has discussed the conflict between "Dionysian" and "Apollonian" values and systems in human life.

“Peter Shaffer’s EQUUS is without doubt one of the greatest English post-war plays. As a work of art, it is magnificent. Rarely does contemporary drama probe so deep - AN ELECTRIFYING

EVENING OF THEATRE”The Sunday Times, 4 March 2007

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