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Equus: First Peview Review


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#1 Parsley

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 11:30 PM

F*****g fantastic!

I went to this with a sense of trepidation. I am not a fan of Peter Shaffer (especially after the terrible revival of Royal Hunt at the NT last year). I certainly am no advocator of the Daniel Radcliffe fan-base either (can the boy actually act?). Richard Griffiths usually leaves me cold too.

What I have experienced this evening is everything that is right about theatre. A stunningly relevant and modern text is illuminated by an intense and visceral staging. The performances are outstanding and Richard Griffiths deserves the highest accolade for his performance: He is the most exquisite actor and his narration drew me into the play from the outset.

Daniel Radcliffe gives an assured stage debut. I appreciate this was his first night onstage in front of a full house. He performed admirably. Considering he is only 17, there were no signs of any nerves. He captured the frustration and angst of his role accurately. I think we will see much to come from this young man.

The rest of the cast all offer excellent support: in particular the roles of the mother and father were notable.

Staging was always going to be the tough one. The genius of John Napier has not faded. I must point out I was sitting on a "stage" seat (these are situated above the back of the stage, behind the actors). This unique vantage point did take some getting used to, but the unique position affords an unprecendented view of the action (and of a naked Daniel Radcliffe!). There are some problems with the audibility of the dialogue at a few point and the lighting is somewhat noisy, but this is a small price to pay for the experience.

The set itself is simplicity redesigned. Four boxes and an elevated platform serve as all. The lighting adds the rest.

Mention must also go to the horses. I am never convinced by actors masquerading as animals. Here (if you suspend your imagination enough) the desired affect is obtained.

The finale of the play remains as shocking as ever. I am sure that every parent and teenager will be able to relate to the issues that arise during the course of Equus. The standing ovation at the end was never more well-deserved (including Peter Shaffer himself).

My final comments must be directed to the director Thea Sharrock. For someone so young, yet so talented, I can only wait to see her next piece of stage work.

Go and see, I urge you!

#2 armadillo

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 11:34 PM

Interesting review but couldn't it have been posted in the existing Equus thread? Or are we to have a new thread for every performance?

#3 Guest_Skylight_*

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 11:38 PM

armadillo you got there before me...

#4 Change

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 11:42 PM

Thank you Parsley. It's one of my favourite plays. i'm looking forward to it - even more now.

#5 Guest_John F_*

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 12:36 AM

Armadillo and Skylight, get over yourselves....



#6 Guest_Skylight_*

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 12:44 AM

It's okay I'm going out all day tomorrow so my perspective will be restored.  tongue.gif

#7 armadillo

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 07:14 AM

I'm puzzled - is there a particular advantage to starting a new thread for every different comment on the show? Surely anyone who wants to read comments on Equus would rather look in one place and find all the reviews together rather than have to look through several pages of discussion titles. Especially since a thread that is specifically about one performance is less likely to be added to than a thread with a generic title. Perhaps a very brief FAQ would be useful with guidlines on this while the board is still new.

Of course, if Skylight and I are wrong and people preferred the old board with dozens of threads on the same subject, I apologise. And I do realise that some people just like starting threads!

#8 Guest_gandalf_*

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 08:09 AM


Equus last night was amazing - most powerful night of theatre I have been to.

Dan Radcliffe was staggeringly good for a 17 year old - and Richard Griffiths was the best I have ever seen him.

A great production of a great play!!!!!

#9 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 08:51 AM

Thanks for the review - am glad you posted in a new thread. Am going this afternoon.

#10 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 09:18 AM

I look forward to your new thread recounting your views on the second preview. I'm going this evening so I can start a fourth thread on the third preview. And so it can go on...




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