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Shaffer: “I’m not writing porn, for God’s sake!”

by drcomSep 10, 2008

There is a really excellent new interview with Peter Shaffer in the New York Post, in which the playwright talks about Equus and the media frenzy surrounding the play’s much hyped nude scene:

As for the nude scene, in which the boy, unable to have sex with his girlfriend, blinds the horses in a frenzy, Shaffer says damn the inevitable prurient headlines and cialis cancdian dugs gossip items – Radcliffe performs it with taste and sensitivity.

“Dan’s like a naked little animal, so vulnerable, shuddering against the buy levitra on the internet bars.”

MORE THAN SKIN DEEP

by Michael Riedel, The New York Post  

WHEN Daniel Radcliffe made his stage debut in “Equus” last year in London, all the press could talk about was his nude scene. That didn’t bother the producers, who were happy to woman and viagra tally up ticket sales. But it sure as hell annoyed the playwright, Peter Shaffer.

“I was irritated that people talked on and on about it,” he says. “It was so infantile. In the papers, I was always reading about how Harry Potter is ‘waving his other wand.’ “

Yes. Well, we have a confession to make. That phrase first appeared in The Post.

“How very naughty of you,” says Shaffer. “There is a great deal more going on in the play, you know. I’m not writing porn, for God’s sake!”

Indeed not.

“Equus,” which recently started previews at the Broadhurst, is considered a contemporary classic. The haunting drama about an emotionally disturbed boy who blinds six horses with a spike stunned audiences into what Shaffer calls “breathless silence” when it premiered at the Old Vic in London in 1973.

You could feel that silence solidifying around you,” he recalls. “You could almost tap on that silence.”

On Broadway, the play ran three years, earning so much money that it shored up the Shubert Organization, which, like the city itself in the 1970s, was crumbling.

The revival, which also stars the cheapest place to buy viagra Potter films’ Uncle Vernon, Tony winner Richard Griffiths (“The History Boys”), as a psychiatrist who tries to reach the boy, is raking it in as well. Advance ticket sales exceed $3 million.

Harry Potter’s “other wand” probably has something to do with that. But the fact is “Equus” is a gold-plated title and, 35 years later, still grips audiences.

The play was inspired by a drive Shaffer took with a friend through the English countryside in 1972.

“I commented on the extraordinary number of stables there were,” he recalls. “And my friend, a brilliant journalist from the BBC, told me a very strange story. He had been at a dinner party with a magistrate. Someone asked her what the worst crime she’d ever tried was. And she told the http://www.inationradio.com/buy-real-viagra alarming story of a boy who was arrested for blinding 26 horses with a spike, all in one night.

“That it took place all in one night is what sent me off. You see, if it had been over a period of time, the boy would have been a madman or a sadist. But if it happened all at once, it seemed to me there must have been a very strange and alarming event behind it.”

Six months later, Shaffer had the first draft of viagra uk cheap “Equus.”

He showed it to the chief child psychiatrist at a major London hospital so “that I wouldn’t make an ass of myself.”

The doctor liked the play but thought a scene involving hypnosis was a bit overripe. It had, says Shaffer, “a flashing light whirling around in a circle.”

The psychiatrist remarked: “People have not hypnotized other people like that since the days of Fu Manchu.”

Shaffer rewrote the scene using his friend’s actual method of hypnosis – tapping a pencil while the patient opens and closes his eyes to the rhythm.

It became one of the most memorable moments in both the buy generic viagra canada play and in the 1977 movie, which starred an Oscar-nominated Richard Burton as the psychiatrist.

As for the nude scene, in which the boy, unable to have sex with his girlfriend, blinds the horses in a frenzy, Shaffer says damn the inevitable prurient headlines and gossip items – Radcliffe performs it with taste and sensitivity.

“Dan’s like a naked little animal, so vulnerable, shuddering against the bars,” he says.

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