Director: Thea Sharrock
Daniel Radcliffe appears as: Alan Strang
Location: Gielgud Theatre, London, UK
Appearance Date: 27 Feb – 9 Jun 2007 (Previews: 16 – 26 Feb 2007);
Broadhurst Theatre, New York City, USA
Appearance Date: 25 Sep 2008 – 4 Feb 2009 (Previews: 5-24 Sep 2008)
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Peter Shaffer captured many different elements of society in his play Equus. Though the play was written in 1973, the underlying themes could easily mirror how things appear in today’s world.
The two main characters, Dr. Dysart and Alan Strang, keep us in an extended state of suspense as we try to figure out what has happened and why Dysart was approached to help this young man. We enter a phase where we see a doctor who begins to admire his patient’s passion and wonder about his own life and what it has become.
As the doctor shares his thoughts with us, we see how he becomes more and more enamored by the zeal of this young man. He uses various means within his profession to help Alan, including talking to the people that surround him in his everyday life. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprising, we find a myriad of influences including a mother who has tried to instill religious values into her son, a father who is indifferent to anything other than his job, a girl who Alan has become fond of, Alan’s first experience with a horse, why he loves horses so much and what that means. The catalyst that caused this young man to crack and land him where he is will both surprise and horrify you.
(Thanks to Dee and Tracey.)