17 April 2007

Equus by Peter Shaffer

Martin Dysart - Richard Griffiths
Alan Strang - Daniel Radcliffe
Frank Strang - Jonathan Culen
Dora Strang - Gabrielle Reidy
Hesther Salmoman - Jenny Agutter
Jill Mason - Joanna Christie
Harry Dalton - Colin Haigh
The Young Horsman & Nugget - Will Kemp
Nurse - Karen Meagher
Horses - Joel Corpus, Jamie Reid-Quarrell, Greig Cooke, Temujin Gill, Jonathan Readwin

Directed by Thea Sharrock
Designed by John Napier

during it's run at the Geilgud Theatre (Formerly The Globe) during it's period of restoration - D7

I had no real plans to see this because I didn't really want to sit in an audience of eager eyes HP fans and tabloid readers. I had intended to wait until towards the end of the run so in the hopes that it would calm down because the price of the ticket was worth it to see Richard and Jenny alone. I am glad I was persuaded otherwise.

The staging of this piece is such a icon image that it was wonderful to see they had not decided to ring the changes......although I am not sure the original staging had any of the audience incorperated into it.....but I could be wrong. The bars and rails were replaced by beautifully simple cubes and block which the cast choregraphed around the stage to serve their ever changing purposes.

The performances were good. Radcliffe is not the Strang I wanted to see, to be frank. I don't want to be hard on such a young and inexperienced boy but I never felt disturbed by him as I would have done with someone like Ben Whishaw for instance. He didn't seem to be very self aware and a lot of the time just appeared to be delivering text. Judging from the reviews from people I respect, it is possible that I saw him on a bad night.

Jenny Agutter has made some odd choices on telly lately and her age shows on the small screen. Tonight on the stage a few feet in front of me she was luminous. I have no idea where Richard Griffiths finds the breath and energy but he was magnificent.

The horses did a Trojan job! Will Kemp's faultless footwork filled me with anxiety but it was beautiful to watch.

A glorious end to a wonderful day spent with a friend. A simple but delicious snack at the Tate Modern overlooking my beautiful city and a sprint (I kid you not) around the Gilbert & George exhibition. Bliss

Oh - Celeb in the Audience: Sir Peter Hall