>daniel radcliffe has a small erect penis but a huge scrotum
2014 EDIT: ALL RIGHT YOU SICK PIGGIES. I know what you’re googling to find this blog post. This is an old, 2007, silly, tongue-in-cheek post reviewing a play that Daniel Radcliffe was in. THERE ARE NO WANG PICS HERE. Stop trying to google pictures of poor Radcliffe’s penis. AND GET A LIFE.
>that’s what you want to know, isn’t it?
yes, it’s true. i saw EQUUS last night.
that’s right, nekkid-harry-potter-confusing-religion-and-sex-with-horses-daniel-radcliffe, I SAW IT ALL.
totally spur of the moment too. i was at work, and i was like, “i don’t wanna go home right after work,” so i called up the Gielgud theatre, and as luck would have it, one ticket in an amazing spot was still available. snatched it up quicker than a hooded viper raiding the villagers.
so let’s get to what you want to know – is the play still relevant? is it good? is it haunting? and how is radcliffe in performance?
from my perspective, i found the plot and the unravelling mystery of alan strang to be the most compelling element. this idea of blending religious worship with sexual worship with, of all things, the nature of horses, is really fucking interesting. the way playwright paul shaffer (no, not from the late show with david letterman) cultivates strang’s character, his way of thinking, his motivations, his mannerisms, is done with tight and concise dramaturgy and i was enthralled by this idea of a child embracing and then destroying his sanctuary in all things equestrian.
the imaginative incorporation of horses is peformed mostly be trained dancers with detailed movements, mannerisms, and body language. the audience doesn’t question them for a minute, it never seems ridiculous. their innovative costumes include metal horse heads and horseshoes so that they tower over shorty-radcliffe. clever, and at the same time, haunting. and there were ingenious uses of lighting, some times indicating sand and beach, other times, pools of blood.
however, the dialogue is, at best, trite.
there’s so much exposition-monologues, so much telling, not enough showing. some characters are there just so that the psychiatrist martin dysart (played by rotund richard griffiths) can explain more plot, leaving the remaining cast as mere sounding boards, as plot devices. dysart is an interesting character who envies strang for his passion and mourns the lack of passion in his life and his marriage. the lack of worship in his life.
but, as my friend kelly wrote in his toronto star review of equus (which was its most searched article that week), actor griffiths does a half-assed job with his performance, at times almost phoning it in. he feels nothing. he conveys nothing. he just waddles from seat to seat, unable to stand for very long, cracking self-conscious jokes and mocking the gravity of the situation. even when things get to their most interesting, griffiths barely incorporates any emotion into his words. he cares not for what he says. he just recites.
radcliffe, the main draw, is the best thing about the play. he seethes passion, torment, and a rawness that comes either with an inate understanding of the text or of the emotion behind it. you can’t take your eyes off him, even when he’s hiding in the shadows.
and what chutzpah! he has to spend at least 10 minutes on stage bare-ass nekkid. first for his near-explicit sex scene, but also so he can bound and leap across the stage blinding the horses. i must give him mad props for that. however, because radcliffe is only 17 years old, is this not considered child pornography?
but the play ends with a deus ex machina. strang tells his story, dysart tells him he’ll try to help him, hugs him (at which point i’m sure all the psychiatrists in the audience cringed. psychiatrists do not hug their patients, so innappropriate!), and then admits he’s incapable of curing him. griffiths phones in the last line (“there’s a chain in my mouth, and it never goes away” which is an awesome line if the actor does something with it!) and the lights dim.
we don’t want to see strang cured, we want to see him as involved in his passionate worship as ever. that’s why we love him, why we are haunted by him, why he lingers in our brains long after we’ve left the theatre.
from working in many theatres, i know well enough that taking photos is SO WRONG because not only is the stage and the performance someone’s artwork, but also because it distracts the actors.
that didn’t stop many from snapping before the show (luckily no one dared during the show). so i whipped out my camera phone, just to document my vantage.
this was the stage design pre-show. the blocks were shifted throughout the show for setting and for props, totally cool.
those white dots are actually the horses heads that the actors put on to become the wild beasts.
so yeah, i saw one of the most talked about plays in history. i call dibs on bragging rights.
i’m flying to porto this weekend to continue my backpacking extravaganzas.
i will never stop traveling.
you will find me raising the sand all night as i run through cobbled alleys and dance til my clothes cling to my skin with beads of sweat.