Equus at The Lowry
Teenager Alan Strang has been convicted of blinding six horses with a metal spike. Magistrate Hesther Salomon believes Alan needs medical help rather than imprisonment and introduces him to psychiatrist Martin Dysart. In Equus, author Peter Shaffer takes a real-life incident and develops it into a disturbing, ritualistic, erotic exploration of the mind and sexuality. In this new co-production between UK Theatre Award winners English Touring Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East, Ned Bennett’s imaginative direction packs a punch. Georgia Lowe’s stark staging provides the perfect background to lighting and sound that build the tension and have the power to shock.
Zubin Varla’s suitably drab, weary Dr. Dysart explores Strang’s relationships with his atheist father and Christian mother and uncovers Alan’s penchant for TV jingles and all things equine. Ethan Kai shines as Strang, introverted and obstinate around his parents and medical staff, coming alive in the stables where he is able to bond with the horses. The physical beauty of the bare-muscled Ira Mandela Siobhan as Nugget, perfectly capturing the equine movements, heightens the homo-erotic tension between man and horse. The intimacy is intense, disturbing, beautiful.
40+ years since its original production, Equus still proves to be an insightfully powerful, gripping piece of theatre. Unmissable!
Garry Thomas-Lowde for Canal St Online
Quays Theatre, Lowry: Apr 23rd-27th 2019 Tix here.
Published: 25-Apr-2019 (5328)