Last night I had the opportunity to see a preview to Southampton University Theatre Group’s latest production, Equus, and if the show goes anything like the rehearsal then viewers are in for a chilling, dramatic treat.
I admit, before seeing the performance all I knew about Equus was that it is the ‘show that Harry Potter got naked in’. After seeing it I can attest to the fact that the show is dramatic, engaging and well worth watching, with a storyline which delves deep into the psyche and calls into question what we consider normal, ordinary and conventional.
With the tagline “One boy’s religion. Another man’s demon” Equus explores themes of religion, sexuality, insanity and parental control. Telling the story of disturbed youth Alan Strang through his consultations with Dr Dysart, as the doctor tries to find out why the 17 year old blinded five horses in a fit of rage. What follows is disturbing and fascinating in equal measures, as the cast act out flashbacks through the consultations. These consultations leads Dysart to question his own practises, beliefs and position as a doctor. The story of the play is excellent, but what was always going to make or break the production was the execution of complex set pieces and the acting, particularly on the part of Strang and Dysart. After seeing the preview everything looks promising – the cast are strong and fully invested in their role, and the production team have come up with some interesting props. Watch out for the horse masks within the play – they too are equally frightening and fascinating.
When asked why Equus the directors were keen to say that they thought the themes of the show would be prefect for Halloween, and that they wanted to do a show that was scary. They said that the cast were great fun to work with, but were also very professional and able to turn it on at the right moment. Cast member Alicia Dowsett said “Joining the Equus cast has meant that I have met some fantastic new people and been able to enhance my acting skills. Equus is a dark and thrilling emotional drama which is perfect for the Halloween stage. Don’t miss out!”
I for one am excited to see what the show looks like on stage with full lighting and staging – it looks set to be a dramatic and engaging show, that you certainly won’t be forgetting about in a hurry.
SUSU Theatre Group will be performing Equus from 30th October – 2nd November, and tickets are available here.