Equus, Gielgud Theatre, London

Equus the playIt’s disappointing to hear that despite considerable speculation over a new cast, Equus is coming to an end.

While the Telegraph has it as a commercial success and seems to have the numbers to back that up, we went a few weeks ago after star Daniel Radcliffe told the Jonathan Ross Show that there were plenty of tickets. And indeed there were (although we were after the Wednesday matinee) and we found ourselves upgraded because they closed the cheap section.

I reckon Radcliffe’s Harry Potter pedigree didn’t put bums on seats because Equus is a tad too serious for Potter fans, while serious theatre goers suspected he wouldn’t cut it. The latter were wrong; the whole cast fully deserved its standing ovation.

Equus is a gripping, intellectually engaging play that asks a lot of its two leads; Daniel Radcliffe as horse ripper Alan Strang and Richard Griffiths as psychiatrist Martin Dysart, who must explain why the boy blinded six horses. What emerges is a gripping exploration of the projection and amplification of parental conflict in the confused mind of a child/adolescent.

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