Saturday, 12 March 2011


For my Speech & Drama Grade 8 exam I'm performing the part of Dora from Equus. I know what you all think: "OhMyGod that's the one with naked Harry Potter!" Erm yes it is but it is so much more than that.

Equus is about a psychologist called Dysart looking after an evidently mentally disturbed and slightly obsessive horse-lover named Alan Strang. Alan's parents are a wee bit religious, and prohibit Alan from doing virtually anything that is very slightly offish. Altogether, he lives in a pretty repressive household.

This all questions the technique of parenting. Though it is not explicitly pointed out, it is assumed that Alan's parents (Frank and Dora) are rather oppressive. They forbid him television, for example. Is that right? Because it is a well-known fact that if someone is disallowed to do something, eat something, say something.... as soon as they have the chance they are going to go wild.

And wild Alan does go. His infatuation with horses is shown prominently, especially when Frank comes in to see Dysart and tell him something previously withheld - that Alan worships his own God - Equus. This triggers a memory of Dysart's: when Alan first came to see him he would only (and he did this in court too) sing a strange and unknown song or say "Ek ek ek", which can be perceived as rather creepy. So, from this we can decipher how fanatic Alan is about horses.

The beginning of Alan's trust (or perhaps it is just Dysart's gift for hypnotism) he tells the psychologist about his first job and the transfer from it to working in the stables. He manages this through Jill, a slightly clingy worker at the stables. And it is then that Alan starts his strange rituals with the horses, namely Nugget, as opposed to worshipping a printed picture stuck up on his bedroom wall. As soon as Jill makes a move on Alan, he blinds six horses with a metal spike. Why? Probably because this boy has been so sheltered from any form of social interaction with any human being other than his parents.

This documentation of a crime holds everyone in suspense, whether you are reading it (as I did) or seeing it onstage. And there is far more to this play than seeing Daniel Radcliffe, or any other actor for that matter, in the nude. Please read it - it's a true eye-opener to how someone could be so closed up.

By Jess

1 comment:

  1. sounds really interesting! ive always wanted to see/ read this. i think i just might now x