When someone mentions Daniel Radcliffe they immediately get the image of the young wizard, Harry Potter. After all, we saw him grow up in each new Harry Potter film and watched his talent grow along the way.
However, Daniel Radcliffe has moved on to different roles in both films and in theatre. One very notable production is the play Equus, where he has literally thrown off the wizard robes to reveal his “naked” talent. Strutting around a stage naked is not something one would equate to the cute little boy we knew as Harry Potter. But Radcliffe plays the part and he plays it very well.
The play itself was written in 1973 by Peter Shaffer. The story is about a psychiatrist who takes on the case of a young man and his pathological and very religious obsession with horses. Shaffer got the idea from an actual crime that occurred in Suffolk, England, where a teenager had blinded several horses. The play is meant to create a fictional account of what may have led up to this person’s actions.
Daniel Radcliffe plays the role of the troubled teen, Alan Strang, the main character of this story. Its a dark and psychosexual tale that Radcliffe plays amazingly. He makes you forget who he is and other roles he is known for, and makes you believe in the character he is portraying. Here we witness the child actor we knew make that transition into the young man who has the talent to break past that barrier that many child stars confront in their careers, which is transitioning from child roles to adult roles.
Equus, which has been running for nearly 30 years now, seems to be the catalyst needed to help Radcliffe break away from the role of the young wizard. Gone is the wand and glasses, and in its place a leather jacket, 2 day shadow and a cigarette.
The role has definitely had a hand in raising the young actors confidence levels. He even made those grumbling critics take notice with audiences that loved his role in this dark play. Many can now see that he is someone with true potential and talent.
From the very first line of the show Daniel Radcliffe draws you in. He addresses the audience, making everyone feel as if they are part of the show itself. He makes you believe he has some serious mental issues with this darker personality. We also can see that the actor himself has a range and depth that was unexpected by many. In the play he changes emotions so quickly it can be dizzying. He goes from sullen teen angst to childlike innocence on a dime, and there are times when he can actually be quite frightening.
We truly get to see Daniel Radcliffe as we have never seen him before in this Broadway performance of Equus!