Barely Trotter? Daniel Radcliffe Set for Equus Mounting
Apparently determined to shed more than just his "Harry Potter" movie image, 17 year old actor Daniel Radcliffe has officially been announced for the leading role in the new West End revival of Peter Schaffer's Equus due to open February 27, 2007. Radcliffe will portray Alan Strang, a psychotic young stable boy who blinds horses with a spike, only to ride them while performing sexual acts in the all-together. Radcliffe will be joined by The History Boys' Richard Griffiths as psychiatrist Martin Dysart -- the two performed together in four of the "Harry Potter" movies.
On Radcliffe's Web site, the young actor is quoted as saying:
"I'm really excited to be part of this production. I'm thrilled to be working with Richard Griffiths again. This is obviously a huge departure for me as an actor, but Equus is such an amazing play that this really was an opportunity not to be missed. Rehearsal starts in January and I'm very much looking forward to working with Thea Sharrock who is an incredibly talented director and only hope I do the role justice!"
The original Broadway production of Equus opened at the Plymouth Theatre (now the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre) on October 24, 1974 and ran for 1209 performances before closing -- at the Helen Hayes Theatre -- on October 2, 1977. Peter Firth won a Tony for his portrayal of Strang, but he subsequently retreated from the American stage with the exception of a replacement role as Mozart in Amadeus. Equus' stellar original cast included Anthony Hopkins, Roberta Maxwell, Marian Seldes and Frances Sternhagen. Overall, the play was nominated for five Tony Awards and in addition to Firth's win, Equus was named Best Play of 1975, while the late John Dexter won for Best Director.
The deeply disturbing and controversial Equus has never been remounted on the Broadway stage, although it was translated to film in 1975 with Firth reprising his role opposite Richard Burton -- both were Oscar nominated.
Perhaps not since Julie Andrews exposed herself in the film "S.O.B." has there been a larger attempt to break away from such a wholesome image. The big question is whether Radcliffe will be up for the challenge.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).