“Equus” Begins Previews on Broadway

268

Sep 06, 2008

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

Previews of the play “Equus” starring actors Dan Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Richard Griffiths (Uncle Vernon) began last night in New York, with the production to formally open on Broadway September 25. As a reminder and recap for those who are unfamiliar with this play by Peter Shaffer, Playbill.com has an article online which notes:

“Radcliffe and Griffiths, who played to sold-out crowds in the London revival of the Peter Shaffer play, reprise their work for Broadway audiences. Radcliffe stars as Alan Strang with Griffiths as Dr. Martin Dysart. Ever-busy stage and screen actress Kate Mulgrew plays Hesther Saloman, the role created on Broadway by veteran actress Marian Seldes in 1974.

In Equus, “psychiatrist Martin Dysart investigates the blinding of six horses, a savage act committed by an unassuming 17-year-old stable boy, Alan Strang, whose family life is rife with bigotry and religious fervor. As Dysart exposes the truths behind the boy’s demons, he finds himself face-to-face with his own.” Playwright Shaffer based the play on a true story told to him by a friend.”

The play contains very serious and mature subject matter, and includes a scene that requires Dan to appear nude. This apparently was the reasoning for some changes made to the stage, for the New York Daily News reported that John Napier, who designed this revival from London and the original 1974 Broadway version, was sensitive to Radcliffe’s celebrity and to the fact he appears stark naked. As a result, Napier raised onstage seats about 11 feet off the floor to keep the audience out of actors’ sightlines.

For further information on show times and ticket information, please click here. NJ.com also reports that special seats are available to see the play, with the article stating that “tickets are being sold to a double ring of 52 seats located above and at the back of the stage of the Broadway production…People who purchase these seats are requested by the management to dress in neutral-colored clothing and to refrain from wearing perfume or cologne.” Further information regarding the stage seating, is available via this link.

We understand that many of you will be attending the play in the next days and weeks; please feel free to leave your reviews or stories of your trip to the play in the comments below.





24 Responses to “Equus” Begins Previews on Broadway

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Nice :) 1st?

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broadwayworld.com ’s forum had this review posted by

WithoutATrace

Broadway Legend joined: 11/27/04 EQUUS – First Preview – 9/5/08 Posted On: 9/6/08 at 12:16 AM

Let me preface this review by saying that I was familiar with Peter Shaffer’s play before I saw the performance this evening. I had read the play and seen the movie, both of which I was impressed with. I had read some of the rave reviews from London and I admire both Griffiths and Radcliffe as actors…needless to say, I had extremely high expectations for this production. I am proud to report that my expectations were exceeded…this play is absolutely brilliant…and it has a first-rate production to boot.

There is no show curtain, and when you walk into the theater, you see the six horse heads propped up on the six stables and four pillars in the center of the stage on top of another platform. Throughout the show, the four pillars are used as chairs, tables, beds, etc…they are periodically moved around by the actors during scenes. I was impressed by how “choreographed” the entire show had to be, even in the scenes without the six horses. The lighting was stunning, particularly in the final scenes in Act 1 and Act 2…WOW. There was also very effective use of a fog machine, which added to the atmosphere. I honestly don’t think the production itself could have been any better.

The acting was excellent all around. Let me start with the horses (yes, Spencer Liff was one of them). They were all wearing horseshoe platform “shoes” that were made of metal. It must be hard to walk in those, but all six actors did a fabulous job. Other smaller roles included Lorenzo Pisoni as The Young Horseman & Nugget (who is extremely good looking by the way), Graeme Malcolm as Harry Dalton, and Sandra Shipley as the Nurse, all of which were wonderful.

Anna Camp played Jill Mason. I despised her in THE COUNTRY GIRL last season, but she was fine in this show (and yes, she is nude at the end as well with Radcliffe). I think her acting will improve as the run goes on, but she did a good job, especially for a first preview. T. Ryder Smith played the father Frank Strang and gave a wonderful performance, as did Carolyn McCormick as the mother Dora Strang. I loved their scene at the beach when Alan (Radcliffe) first sees a horse, and I also loved their individual scenes while speaking to Martin (Griffiths).

Kate Mulgrew as Hesther Saloman was fabulous. Her scenes with Griffiths were spot on. She had emotion and passion in her line deliveries, and I also noted that she has incredible diction. The scenes really came alive when she was on stage (not that any scene in this play was dead). I’m just saying, you noticed Kate when she was on stage…and that is a very good thing. Excellent casting. So impressive.

Daniel Radcliffe as Alan Strang. This is such a tough role for anyone to play. Alan has such psychological issues and to portray that on stage a couple times is difficult, let alone eight time a week. Daniel was perfect in the role. His facial expressions, line deliveries, interaction with Griffiths, his hand gestures, his intonation…wow. His scenes at the ends of Act 1 and Act 2 were bloody brilliant. I also have to give him credit for doing the nude scene at the end of the show. Being totally exposed on stage, fo an extended period of time, in front of all those people must be so difficult, and he pulled it off brilliantly. He completely stayed in character the entire time and truly took the audience on this crazy journey with him. I admire him and am thrilled that he chose this play to make his Broadway debut.

Richard Griffiths as Martin Dysart. Perfection. I’m not sure there is anything else to say. He was Martin Dysart. Not only was he able to pull off being a psychiatrist, questioning Alan, questioning his parents, Hesther, etc. Through his interaction with others, he allowed the audience to psychologically evaluate him, which was so interesting. We found out little tidbits about his life, which you don’t often get to delve into with psychiatrists…it is usually all about the patients. Griffiths even got applause after one of his lengthy monologues in Act 2, in talking to Hesther…well deserved too! I did not care for THE HISTORY BOYS at all, but his performance tonight was certainly Tony-worthy. Excellent job.

I also have to mention that the audience was EXTREMELY well-behaved (thank goodness). There was surprisingly no entrance applause for any of the actors, but the audience was into the play right from the start. The one hour and thirty minute first act seemed like 15 minutes to me. It flew by…and I attribute that to the real star of this play – Peter Shaffer. Not since DOUBT have I been so into a straight play, so moved. Every sentence, every word was brilliantly crafted and placed.

I can’t believe I am about to say this, but EQUUS is worth every penny that they are charging for it. Not only are you getting to see an excellent play, but the acting in it is fantastic, and the set design and lighting are wonderful. Seeing EQUUS is what live theater is all about. I urge you all to go buy tickets for this show…you will not regret it.

further reports

Lucky Dave reported

I was walking by tonight when the stage door crowd was there. It was INSANE. There must have been 300-500 people there. People by the barricades, even more people across the street. Richard came out and got right into his car. Daniel came out and signed for the people in the front for a few minutes before leaving. And he was signing everything, including Harry Potter pictures.

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Youtube video of Dan and the crowds after the first preview – listen to them scream when he does not get into his car but crosses to the other side to sign autographs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlH92wfH4Vo

An interview with Peter Schaffer here regarding how they planned to circurmvent any entrance applause-

http://ccaggiano.typepad.com/everything_i_know_i_learn/2008/08/equus-tea-with-peter-shaffer.html

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I went last night and the performance from everyone was absolutely amazing! Especially that of Richard Griffiths, he was fantastic! But he didn’t give anyone an autograph when he left :( Though Daniel did.

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Good lucky, he-who-brings-sexy-back! I am wondering, is there an age limit to see this show? I am a very mature 14-year-old who loves Dan with a passion.

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Good to hear that everything seemed to go so well! Bravo!

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This is so exciting! I’m going to New York to see the play in December and I can’t wait!

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Thanks for posting that review, radcakesfan! An awesome review; it all sounds so intense. Wish I could go…

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Nah, there’s no age limit. Obviously no one is going to bring a 6 year old . It’s NOT harry potter after all. You do have to be 17 at least for the onstage seating but the best view is from the regular seats anyways.

by the way DeathlyH, i love that “he who brings sexy back phrase lol! It’s hilarious, but oh so true!

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I saw the show yesterday night (first night of previews!!) and i am blown away. I read the play before I saw it, and i have to whole heartedly disagree with anyone who thinks this play will change the harry potter movies for them. Alan and Harry are so different, i found myself forgetting that Dan Radcliffe was first known as The Boy Who Lived. All the actors were amazing, although the character of Jill leaves something to be desired (but because of my bias towards the character in general, I cannot give a truthful opinion on how the actress did). Griffiths was almost perfect, Dan was amazing. I could not believe how in character anyone could get with Alan, going for it all the way and not holding back at all. The amount of obnoxious fan girls was relatively non existant, whether this be because they kept it to themselves during the play or because it was the first night, i’m not sure, but if you’re going i urge you to read the play first, not thinking of when you get to see daniel radcliffe naked, or how hot he’ll be, etc. Enjoy the star that brings the complex character of Alan alive, and to the star that wrote the play, Peter Shaffer.

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Thank you, Jenny for your reportt, it’s very appreciated. I’m glad Dan did so well, though it’s no surprise to me, having seen him in Equus last year.

It’s second preview tonight, hope someone will report on this as well.

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cant wait to see it!!

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break a leg Dan (not literally of course..)! I’m glad it seems to be going so well. I saw it last year and thought it was amazing, the whole choreography, the rapport between Griffiths and Dan, the horses and the final scene. From the reviews so far it looks like a shame they didn’t get the same actress to play Jill, as the London actress was great. The one I didn’t like in London was Jenny Agutter; it sounds like her equivalent in NY is doing much better.

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I saw the play in London and Daniel blew me away. In Potter his acting boarders on averege to bad yet he can actually act away from Potter.

Oh and it sucks he is signing Harry Potter stuff as in London he didnt. How rude of him.

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I’m hoping to get tickets near the end of the run. Does anyone know which seats are better to view the play without binoculars, orchestra or mezzanine?

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In London ,,,he was told NOT to sign HP stuff ,,,,,after the play outside theatre. I don’t GET how signing it here was rude,he was just making people happy..

Break a leg, Dan! very best of wishes. Wish I could see this production.

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Thanks, radcakesfan! Hey, are you the same Radcakesfan from Danradcliffe.com? ‘Cause over there I’m known as Dan’s Girlfriend. :) I guess this means I can go! Woo-hoo!

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yup! Hope you can go! Anyhow, here’s another great review!

“Radcliffes performance on stage was breathtaking. His range of emotions and control was electric. His generousity and friendliness outside to the fans was gracious. The star of the show was however Griffiths – he deserves another TONY Best Actor award for this.”

http://lifesrichpageant.typepad.com/lifes_rich_pageant/2008/09/last-nights-mad.html

This is so exciting!

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Dan deserves a Tony too. For best actor in a play, and best body. LMAO. That’s not a category…..yet, anyway, cuz he deserves it! drool

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actually there IS an age limit, no 4 years old and younger allowed… haha but i don’t know why you would bring anyone that young, not that they would understand as well because the storyline is pretty complex.

i think you have to be 17+ to buy the tickets though… not sure but they are being a little iffy of that, you should call to make sure.

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I’ve got tickets to see Equus in October. I’m really excited about seeing Dan in another non-HP role. And Richard Griffiths too. I saw him on B’way in “The History Boys”. He was wonderful! Can’t wait for October!

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SAW IT LAST NIGHT, IT WAS AMAZING, NGL. Anyone who can, buy tickets and see it, you will not regret it!!

You won’t be able to talk to Dan or get his autograph. If you’re lucky, you may see him leave the theater and get into his truck, but that’ sabout it. I tried to get close to the front and I got shoved--literally—by three security guards. Probably because I’m a crazy fangirl. I’m a bit embarrassed, tbh.

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I had the chance to see the play both in london and in broadway and it worth every penny! It’s really amazing how this play is thrilled. Actors performance even second role like the horse is simply fabulous! Dan Radcliffe is so brilliant it’s amazing! if you have the chance to see this play run for it! I went to the preview on friday 5th and after the play outside at the stage door was a crowed like 500 persons! it was crazy! I tried to take pictures but I was to far because a bodyguard was keeping screaming to anyone who attempted to get closer in the street, we had to stay on the sidewalk. but I went back (not to see the play but just at the stagedoor) on saturday night and when I arrive like 30 minutes before the end of the play we were only like 10-15 person! So I was really close to the stagedoor and Dan Came outside and I succeed having an autograph and take some pictures! It was crazy! but there was a lot less people then friday night. hope those who get the chance to see the play will have the chance to see the actors and dan to congratulate him, he’s so worth it!

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Brilliant indeed. Amazing acting, set design, staging, lighting and directing. Thanks you Daniel for acting outside your comfort zone and taking us with you.

The most annoying thing was the crowd after the show. I have been taking my daughter to broadway shows for years and always go to the stage door afterwards- this s the only show we have ever been to where we were not able to get autographs. So please all you Harry Potter fans stay away and make room for the people who actually went to the show.

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