Review: EQUUS at Fulton Theatre

A look at the dark twists and turns of the human psyche

By: Feb. 19, 2024
Review: EQUUS at Fulton Theatre
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Horses. They're powerful animals most often associated with freedom in metaphysical circles. For 17-year-old Alan Strang, however, horses symbolize so much more than that. Obsession and religous trauma turns to worship, and this is where we meet this mentally disturbed young man and his psychiatrist. Fulton Theatre's interpretation of "Equus" is an unsettling look into just how twisted yet complex the human mind and experience can get.

From a technical standpoint, the production was mostly flawless in its minimalist approach. The few set pieces used were fluidly moved around the space with surprising ease. The sound and lighting design mixed with fog created a next level dreamlike ambience. I don't want to give too much of Nugget's design away, but I found his design and execution to be extraordinarily creative and well executed. The way those clip-clops pierced through the theatre was powerfully stunning. My only real sense of disappointment lies in the lack of physical props. While miming can be really fun to watch, I don't feel like it fit into this style of production well, and it took away from the power of certain sequences. Otherwise, the intimate setting of the Fulton's studio theatre was perfect for this piece.

The performances in this show were equally impressive. Every single performer handled their role with a perfect balance of power, grace, and reverence. It was very clear that great care was taken to create a safe space for these performers to fully explore and peel back the layers of these sensitive topics. Everything that was difficult to watch was done in a tasteful and respectful manner, which I really appreciated. This is an incredibly heavy piece that's definitely not for everyone. I continue to be deeply troubled that this piece seems to have been inspired by a real life article that the playwright, Peter Shaffer, came across in the newspaper.

To be entirely honest, I could have gone my entire life without seeing this particular piece without feeling like I missed out. If you are extremely empathic and/or suffer from trauma surrounding animal abuse, religious abuse, or certain aspects of sexuality, this show will most likely trigger you. However, if you're looking for something that will challenge your sensibilities, then the Fulton has created a safe space for you to do so here. "Equus" is playing now through March 3rd, and you can click here to purchase tickets. Just one more piece of advice if you choose to give your psyche a workout... do be sure to leave the kids at home.

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