Hey folks, Harry here... Everyone everywhere in the media is talking about this stage play in the UK - and more than that - it seems to all focus on the fact that he's totally naked for 10 minutes of the play - and how his nude form will destroy the world's moral integrity bringing us all to ruin. Well, our reviewer Hughie saw it this opening night - and the story isn't as short as a weiner, but rather it's about taking a brave young actor seriously, instead of what flopped about on stage. It seems that Daniel Radcliffe has done a helluva good job, and as for the juvenile remarks about his "wand" let's consider the greater ramifications of this play... it's that Daniel Radcliffe is more than Harry Potter - and this is his first brave step into a wider realm of acting.
Hi I remember seeing something on the site a while ago announcing that Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe would be making his first break from the role on the London stage in a production of Peter Shaffers 'Equus'. As the play started previewing here in London last night I thought I would offer my thoughts on how the whole thing turned out, after all everyone must be itching to know what Daniel has to offer outside of the kid with the glasses and the weird scar on his forehead. For anyone who doesnt know the story, it tells the tale of a child psychiatrist (played by none other then Richard Griffiths who will be known to Harry Potter nuts as Uncle Vernon) who is asked to treat a teenage boy who was arrested after blinding six horses. As you can probaby guess, the reasoning behind this act isn't entirely simple or pleasant and this is what the play deals with. Its always risky moving straight from well known nice guy role to a dark and complex character (see James Van Der-Beek in moving from Dawsons Creek to The Rules of Attraction), and i'm sure Daniel Radcliffes people had this in mind when he entered this role, but let's face it, the boy certainly has something to prove. It's no secret that since the very first Potter movie he has been widely noticed to be lacking in the acting department. The same was also said of his co-star's but at the end of the day, the film isn't called Ron Weasly and the Philosophers Stone (yes I know in America it wasnt called Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone either but I will be many feet below the ground and be feasted on by worms before I ever refer to it as the 'Sorcerers Stone'). Anyway, whilst it has been noticed that he has improved as a performer as the films have gone on, there have still been severe doubts over his ability to sustain any type of career as a 'serious actor' once the franchise has run its course. If you have something to prove as an actor though, the London stage is the place to do it. Theres no fancy editing, no camera tricks and no voice effects to save you there. So did he stand up to the test? I'm amazed to say, yes. It was such an obvious ploy by Daniel Radcliffes management to try and get him taken seriously by putting him in a 'serious play' in a setting where 'serious actors' go to do their thing and show the world how 'serious' they are, that I would have loved to come away saying 'the boys crap and this just goes further to prove it'. The fact is though, he really is quite good in it. It's obvious that he doesn't have a well trained theatrical voice, it croaks sometimes when it should boom, but in terms of overall stage presence he really seemed to have it. One of the key traits of the character is a menacing, judgemental stare which Radcliffe captures perfectly. He really evokes a sense of turmoil and distress that the kid is experiencing over his feeling's for the horses and the sense that no one will understand his worship and the reasons for why he has performed such an act. The biggest compliment I can give is the he truly goes from being 'Harry Potter on stage' to being Alan Strang, a disturbed young man with issues regarding horses. The guy spends a significant amount of time in the second act as naked as the day he was born but by this point the entire supporting cast from all 4 Harry Potter films could come on and perform an elaborate burlesque routine and you wouldn't care because Daniel Radcliffe has taken it beyond this. I'm under no illusion that a lot of people will be going to see the play because they are interested in the story. The play could consist of him walking on stage, taking a crap and walking off again and it would still sell out. What makes the difference is that people will walk out of this hopefully thinking more about the play, what happened in it and how it was done, rather then thinking about what one of the lead actors has been in before. It will also force the wider movie press to think of something more interesting then 'its darker then the previous films and the actors have risen to it' to say in their future reviews of the upcoming Potter films. J.K Rowling wouldn't even know where to buy ink black enough to write something darker then this. The death's of Sirius Black and Dumbledore will seem as distressing as the site of a care bear hugging a teletubby in comparison to what Alan Strang gets up to though it is good to see that Radcliffe does have the acting chops to give these moments the gravitas they deserve when they do make it to the screen. For anyone who cares, the rest of the cast are also great. Richard Griffiths is perfect as the psychiatrist who is trying to unravel why it is that the kid has done what he has done whilst struggling internally over whether it is right to force him into a state of socially defined normality. I hate to think that some people will genuinely only know this brilliant actor as Uncle Vernon from the Potter films so it will be good for some of these people to see him in a better light. When all is said and done though, this production will be remembered for one thing, and luckilly it will be that the boy who couldn't act took on the biggest challenge he could find, and suceeded beyond all expectations. From Hughie