Harry Is The Wizard Of West End
Source: Daily Mail, 28th February 2007
17-year-old Radcliffe told Daily Mail sister paper Evening Standard that despite his nerves, he wants to pursue a stage career when the Harry Potter film series is completed.
Speaking after his performance in Equus at the Gielgud Theatre, he said:
“Tonight was good but it was terrifying. We’ve been doing previews for two weeks and I thought this would be just another show. But when we got to the last hour I thought ‘this is really big’. It was scary but there’s so much goodwill backstage and to be on stage with Richard Griffiths helped.”
Asked about performing nude, Radcliffe said:
“I really don’t care about it that much. The nudity serves the purpose of the image at the end of the play. The implication in the press was that it was going to be quite gratuitous but it’s not. After doing the first couple of previews I really didn’t care anymore.”
The role of Strang, the boy sent to a psychiatric institution after blinding several horses, appears to have taken a far greater toll than that of the boy wizard.
“It can be hard not to take it home with you and I especially found that during the rehearsal period. But in a way that’s good because the more you can stay in character, as long as it doesn’t damage you in any way, it can only be a positive thing.”
He said he would like to continue acting in the West End.
“Being on stage is the most exhilarating experience I’ve ever had. Film is fantastic but the rush you get from being on stage is just amazing,” he revealed.
The audience for the first major revival of Peter Shaffer’s play since 1973, included the playwright as well as Rowan Atkinson, Bob Geldof, Samantha Morton, Helena Bonham Carter, Felicity Kendal, Charles Dance, Ian Hislop, John Hurt, Dame Diana Rigg, Graham Norton, Jamie Theakston, Neil Kinnock, Richard E Grant, Neil Kinnock and Harry Potter producer David Heyman.
Shaffer, now aged 80, said:
“Daniel was marvellous considering this is his first ever performance on the stage. Richard Griffiths was terrific as well. I’m very pleased with the production. It’s deeply exciting.”
Hollywood star Christian Slater said:
“The work that Daniel did on stage was incredible, extraordinary. I think he was brave, adventurous and courageous. He’s a phenomenon and I would certainly love to work with him.”
Outside the theatre, fans gathered to heap praise Radcliffe.
Among them, Hannah Brown, 16, from Woodford, Essex, said: “I thought he was brilliant in Harry Potter and I thought he was great in this as well. He showed so much emotion.”