Photo by Jojit Lorenzo

EQUUS is a very intense, disturbing and a bit shocking straight play.

It is intense because of the involving drama between child psychiatrist Dr. Martin Dysart and the young man he is treating, Alan Strang, who blinded horses and has a sexual fascination with them. It is based on a true crime involving a 17-year-old who blinded six horses in a small town near London.


Photo by Raul Montesa

The writer, Peter Shaffer, wrote the play in 1973, producing a fictional but believable story on why the boy did the things he did. The entire story plays out like a detective investigation as the reasons for the boy’s actions unfold before your eyes.


Photo by Reuters

EQUUS was made popular when Daniel Radcliffe (of Harry Potter fame) starred in the play.

 
Photo by Jojit Lorenzo

It is a bit disturbing because of the several issues explored throughout the play, such as religious themes, parenting responsibilities, sexual exploration, and sexual fascination with the horses. There are times some of the issues presented are things we face in our day-to-day lives, making it relatable, as difficult as it is to admit.
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Photo by Raul Montesa

There are no actual horses in the play. Some half-naked men with six-pack abs acted as the horses, utilizing steel horse frames and steel horseshoes. It was very professional and artistically done.


Photo by Jojit Lorenzo

It is a bit shocking because of the actual frontal nudity included in the play (it was a portrayal of the lead roles of Alan Strang and his girlfriend having sex in the barn), which was actually an essential part of the show. It was my first time to see such stage bravery, and some commented that it resembled the nudity in M. Butterfly. 


Photo by Jojit Lorenzo

Pheona Baranda plays the role of Jill Mason, Alan Strang’s girlfriend. Pheona’s performance was surprisingly good and she carried the role nicely. 

I heard the Alan Strang role was offered to certain celebrities, but nobody wanted to do an ala Daniel Radcliffe except for the theater people.

There is an ongoing debate as to who is the best Alan Strang — Marco Mañalac or Red Concepcion? I watched Red Concepcion, and his performance was very believable and sufficient for the role. Red is more of the theater veteran, but Marco has the more commercial look. 

You have to watch the show to be able to weigh in on the debate. 🙂 Don’t miss the chance to watch EQUUS!

Live an Awesome Life,

Anton 
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Disclosure: We got complimentary passes to watch EQUUS during opening night, courtesy of Repertory Philippines.

P.S. The play is strictly for adults only.

EQUUS playdates are July 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 and 24 at 8PM; and July 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 at 3:30PM. Venue is at Onstage, 2/F Greenbelt One, Paseo de Roxas cor. Legazpi St., Makati City. For ticket inquiries, call (632) 887-0710 or log on to http://repertory.ph.