Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Equus

Last Saturday was the final performance of 'Equus' at the Brisbane Arts Theatre.

I directed Equus and it was the hardest production i have ever been a part of. Like a wounded old soldier I could bore you silly with tales of horror, angst, pain and sweet, sweet triumph.

But not right now! No time! No Time! I have a flat to pack up and sundry other madness to quell before Girlclumsy and I wing our way abroad.



You can read an online review of Equus here.

The same time Equus started was the Brisbane Theatre Festival. This meant that reviewers could pick and choose what to go see and most decided to go where the food was nicest, even if the show itself was staid, boring and plain (rowr! saucer of milk to the Wah!). I suppose if you are goiong to Hob-Nob with the rich and powerful then you need to make sure the Nob you are Hobbing is the biggest around.

But i digress!

We did get one newspaper review and it was fantastic. I have copied it out below so you can all have a squiz.

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Arts Riding High On A Winner

The Independent- 26 July 2006
Equus
Written by Peter Schaffer
Directed by Gregory Rowbotham
Brisbane Arts Theatre


Peter Schaffer's famous play, which is based on a true story, is now 30 years old but is just as potent, confronting and relevant for theatre audiences today. The Arts Theatre's production, skilfully directed by Gregory Rowbotham, uses costume, on-stage composition and passionate performances to bring this unsettling tale to full life.

I was utterly absorbed by the first act and was delighted to see John Boyce and his very "Film Noir" performance as Dr Martin Dysart, who has the inenviable task of treating Alan Strang, the teenage boy who is accused of blinding six horses.

Such serious allegations indicate that Strang has psychological complications but as the play progressed the blurred edge between patient and healer becomes obvious and the relationship between Dysart and Strang becomes an exercise in seeking the deep and often painfully private truthsabout each of us. Boyce and Peter Norton as Strang worked well together as compassionate and obsessed men locked in the therapeutic process, committed until the truth was revealed.

The staging of Equus was part of the success of the play. All actors remained on stage for the duration of the play, moving forward to present the returning to their seats. The semi-circular format created the impression of a "ring" where the onstage audience watched the horses as they performed. This created a tight performance space which was beautifully illuminated.
Shaun King, so bondaged and tethered as the horse, Nugget, was dignified in his role. His transformation into the mythical Equus was a high point in the play. His strength and focus enabled the sordid truth of Strang's obsessions to be revealed as a naked Norton rode on his back.

This is a stunning production, perhaps not for everyone, but the Arts Theatre cast and crew have created a first-class production
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so there you have it!
woot!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can only hope that this review was sent to all Arts Theatre Board members. maybe they will realise that, once a year theatres should produce something which, although not a money spinner, advances the name of the theatre to the public.

And, on that point, what is Brisbane Arts doing to take advantage of the press to be gained by being part of the Brisbane Arts Festival? Remember, there are only twelve months to go.

The Wah said...

The only way to make sure the Arts Theatre produces more shows like Equus is to tell them how much you liked it. Either email the theatre or ring them

www.artstheatre.com.au

3369 2344

and then you have to get more poeple to come to the shows. Nothing speaks louder than the all mighty dollar.

Anonymous said...

sorry i missed it. have fun with moving and grooving.

the fiend
kick it!

KristyMonster said...

I am really proud of you Groggy. I now tell people I know a celebrated theatre director..

Of course I don't show them your photo, because then they would think you are the celebrated director of theatre at the local prison with Bubba as the lead actor..

The Wah said...

I am prison's love director...

oooo yeah!