From Penguin's reading guide:
The play focuses on the causes underlying a seemingly senseless act of violence by an adolescent boy, an act that forces the characters to confront questions of responsibility and ultimate meaning. Through his characters, Shaffer explores the dilemmas of late-twentieth-century existence in England and, by extension, in the entire industrialized world. In an increasingly commercial and mechanized culture, there is little place for ecstasy and worship, yet they remain human endowments. Is our trust in science as foolish—even more foolish—than the pagans' belief in their gods? Does being "normal" in such a culture also entail losing one's individuality and learning to live without passion?Equus is a fabulous play. The audience is drawn into a world that is at once both disturbing and beautiful. I have no doubt that Daniel Radcliffe will do an excellent job in the role of Alan Strang, the violent and disturbed stable boy. What disturbs ME most however is how HOT he looks in the publicity stills.
LOOK AT HIM! DEAR GOD!! HAAAWWWWWWWTTT
I did however discover something MORE disturbing than the hotness (SERIOUSLY! HARRY POTTER!) of Daniel Radcliffe. I discovered that George Takei of the Starship Enterprise starred in a version of Equus in 2005, playing the other lead role of the psychiatrist Martin Dysart.
This role has been played by giants in the acting world ranging from Anthony Hopkins to Richard Burton to Antony Perkins to Richard Griffiths (who is playing the role on the West End opposite Radcliffe. He also plays Harry Potter's Uncle Vernon. Small world.) Even Leonard Nimoy has played the role. But GEORGE TAKEI?
A reviewer said of the production...
Sadly, however, in the pivotal role of Martin Dysart, the provincial English shrink who agrees to take on Alan’s troublesome and convoluted case, George Takei should get back to the Enterprise bridge and beam himself somewhere else, as he single-handedly keeps this otherwise stunning production from reaching its full potential. From the first moment Takei begins spouting Dysart’s many long and intricately personal monologues, his character’s frustration and anguish are certainly apparent but, sadly, he never evolves from there. Worse yet, whenever Alan’s therapy sessions transform into Shaffer’s magical abreacted memory sequences that make this play so astonishingly theatrical, Takei’s Dysart sits or stands just out of the way on one side of the stage or the other, staring directly forward like a leftover extra from a George Romero zombie epic, yet occasionally the director has him enter into the visions and talk directly to Alan. Considering that directorial choice and the fact that all the other actors seated around the stage stay watching what’s so hauntingly evolving in front of them, it becomes almost frustrating that Takei just continues to gape out over the audience members’ heads in his most solemn but blankly disaffected Mr. Sulu-spawned expression.I am really sad I missed that performance.
And again...HOW HOT IS DANIEL RADCLIFFE! The upcoming Harry Potter movie has taken on a whole new appeal for me. I also am going to be seeking some therapy as he is SEVENTEEN! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!