Friday, July 28, 2006

Barely Trotter? Daniel Radcliffe Set for Equus Mounting

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).

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At 28 July, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone should wonder please note: the Helen Hayes theater noted in this article was on 46th St adjacent to the 46th St Theater (now the Richard Rodgers) and sat 1100. That theater, along with the Morosco (another 1100 seat theater) and Bijou, was demolished in 1983 to make way for the Marriott Marquis Hotel. In a deal with the NY Preservation Board portions of the overhang were to be installed in the lobby of the Marquis Theater.
The present Helen Hayes Theater was The Little Theater while Equus was running on Broadway.

Also,I really would like to see Radcliffe in this role. I think he can do a very good job of it.

At 28 July, 2006, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Thanks for the clarification. Indeed, the link I provided in my posting was to the first of two theatres to include the legendary actress' monicker.

In a cursory search on the blogosphere, Radcliffe's announcement is already creating incredible buzz, as well as lots of discussion on whether he can translate his movie success to the stage.


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