Saturday, 19 May 2012
EQUUS (UK Tour) May 2012
"They get naked in the stables" ... That's all I really knew of this play by Peter Shaffer and so the opportunity to discover the story and see London Classic Theatre's touring production was not to be missed.
The six horse head masks suspended high on poles were the first thing that caught my attention walking into the auditorium. Scarily real, yet so artistically abstract. Kerry Bradley's design is similar to that of the horses in War Horse. Aiden Downing who plays the horse Nugget, was a member of the original cast of War Horse in London and his portrayal of Nugget clearly draws upon that experience. He portrays a horse with such attention to detail from the neighing to the way in which he trots.
I did however find it hard to suspend my disbelief watching a man trot around with a horse mask on. This was far from tacky or comical but at the accuracy of the horse mannerisms paired with the body of a human in jeans and a vest top was visually more centaur than fully horse. It was however artistically beautiful.
Matthew Pattimore's Alan Strang, a 17-year-old struggling with an obsession with horses was both compelling and harrowing. He captured both the cute, innocent boy and the mentally unstable obsessive.
Malcolm James, our narrator as Dr Martin Dysart has a perfect storytelling tone to his voice and acts his way through the narration of the story along with the audience. His exciting portrayal connects with the audience as his character discovers the story at the same time as us, he doesn't know anything before we do and Malcolm James acts this wonderfully.
If your local venue is not already sold out this production is a must-see, scenically beautiful and a cast bursting with enthusiasm and talent.
Touring until 14th July 2012. (Dates/Venues: http://www.londonclassictheatre.co.uk/currently.htm)
Prices vary with venue.