Review Roundup: EQUUS Opens At London's Trafalgar Studios
Following its hugely successful run, the English Touring Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East production of Equus opened this week at London's Trafalgar Studios.
The five star production received unprecedented critical acclaim when it opened, with The Sunday Times describing it as a dazzling revival and The Observer professing You will not see a better production of this masterpiece . The Evening Standard said this stunning re-imagined revival is filled with mesmerising intensity and intimacy while also being hailed as exhilarating (The Guardian) and haunting, engrossing theatre..rich and riveting...a must see (WhatsOnStage).
Inspired by a true story, Equus is a gripping and transfixing psychological thriller which sets out to explore the complex relationships between devotion, myth and sexuality. When teenager Alan Strang's pathological fascination leads him to blind six horses in a Hampshire stable, psychiatrist Dr. Martin Dysart is tasked with uncovering the motive behind the boy's violent act. As Dysart delves into Alan's world of twisted spiritualty, passion and sexuality, he begins to question his own sanity and motivations in a world driven by consumerism.
Ned Bennett (Director), Georgia Lowe(Designer), Jessica Hung Han Yun (Lighting Designer), Giles Thomas (Composer & Sound Designer), Shelley Maxwell (Choreographer & Movement Director), Denzel Westley-Sanderson (Associate Director), Anne McNulty (Casting Director).
This production of Equus was produced by English Touring Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East and is produced in the West End by Trafalgar Theatre Productions.
Nick Curtis. Evening Standard: Peter Shaffer's 1973 play gets a potent, almost expressionist revival by director Ned Bennett, which is better than it deserves. The tale of a psychiatrist analysing a boy who blinded six horses is acted out on a stark, white-curtained set.
Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph: If there's a reason to stampede now to the Trafalgar Studios, it's that Ned Bennett - whose production was seen at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East earlier this year, then on tour - presides over an intensely atmospheric affair that's unembarrassed in every sense. He doesn't just give us total theatre, in the shape of animal mimesis and the nudity of Ethan Kai's tortured adolescent, but total commitment to the thesis. Under his dexterous rein, the action incarnates Shaffer's ideas: the cost of resisting primal urges along with civilisation's requirement that we do so is felt on the pulse.
Jonathan Marshall, The Up Coming: Following its acclaimed run at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Peter Shaffer's homoerotic thriller gallops into the West End and leaves a lasting impression. Inspired by real life events, Equus tells the story of Alan Strang, a teenage boy who blinded six horses with a metal spike, and the attempts of psychiatrist Martin Dysart to understand the reasons behind his horrific actions. The subtext of the play is homosexuality, self-expression, identity and our primal passions and how we manage them. The drama premiered in 1973 and whilst certain aspects of the script have inevitably grown somewhat dated, it's these prominent themes and the captivating characters and compelling story that allow the work to remain relevant for a 2019 audience.