First Published: March 2007
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
If you happen to be in London anytime soon, you might want to set one evening aside to take in the revival of the psychological thriller Equus, starring Harry Potter’s all grown up star, Daniel Radcliffe, says OutUK's Duane Wells .
In Peter Shaffer’s psychological drama, Equus, Daniel Radcliffe, who is best known for his big screen embodiment of the young wizard Harry Potter, plays troubled teenager Alan Strang, a seemingly perfectly normal seventeen-year who is placed under psychiatric observation after he blinds six horses with a hoof pick.

Over the course of the play, Radcliffe is not only seen nude but also masturbating while on a horse.

All of which couldn’t be further away from the family friendly fare upon which the young actor has engaged a legion of loyal adolescent and teenage fans. Thankfully, so far, reaction to the heart-throb’s risky career choice has been nothing but favourable. According to Reuters, Racliffe won a standing ovation on opening night at Shaftesbury Avenue's Gielgud Theatre and fellow actors like Christian Slater who came to watch were full of praise for his courage in taking on such a grueling role.

In the same interview, Radcliffe confessed to having first night nerves but said he had no qualms about baring all after two weeks of doing the play in previews.

"After the first couple of previews, I didn't really care anymore," he told Reuters Television.

Asked about all the publicity over his nude scenes, he said "It all seemed to imply the nudity was gratuitous which it isn't at all." Gratuitous or not, however, the buzz over Radcliffe’s nude form has helped to generate nearly millions of pounds worth of advance sales for the production.

Richard Griffiths, who plays Potter’s evil uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films, joins Radcliffe in what has been called “a dark and sinister exploration of adolescent obsession” playing the sympathetic psychiatrist Martin Dysart to whom the troubled teen turns for treatment in the play.

Equus was originally staged in 1973 by the National Theatre, and featured Peter Firth and Alec McCowen in the roles of Strang and Dysart. On transferring to Broadway it collected a Tony Award. Equus was subsequently made into a film in 1977 starring Richard Burton, Firth, Eileen Atkins, Joan Plowright and Jenny Agutter.

Equus is scheduled to run at the Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End until June 9th.


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