Back in 1973 when Peter Shaffer’s Equus was first performed it caused a sensation then and this exhilarating, dazzling revival directed by Ned Bennett will do the same. This production has had a blast of pure oxygen put through it energising all concerned and especially Ethan Kai as Alan Strang and an incredible performance by Zubin Varla as the psychiatrist Martyn Dysart who has to get to the route of why Strang blinded six horses in a brutal and frenzied attack.
This is an emotional rollercoaster of a play and the fact that it looks so deeply into the effects of mental illness makes it so relevant today. This is a story about manipulation, despair, abuse, repression and obsession. The values of domestic bliss are challenged in fine detail by the psychiatrist complaining about his relationship – or lack of it – with his own wife. Strang’s mother is played by a magnificent Doreen Blackstock as Dora. This is essential modern theatre, impressive, heavy on symbolism, scary in parts and with the ensemble cast also acting key roles and that of the horses that Strang blinds, is beautifully choreographed by Shelly Maxwell. It makes for a striking, stark and quite brilliant production. Not to be missed at any cost.
Photos: The Other Richard