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Feature: Equus

Definitely NOT horsing around…

We catch up with Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, as he takes to the stage in the controversial play Equus, all grown up…

All that Quidditch has certainly paid off then! Fans of Harry Potter across the country gasped as the images of 17-year-old actor Daniel Radcliffe in the buff hit the newsstands in January to promote new stage play Equus. Displaying a toned torso on his lithe build, the actor is captured in several poses, including one where he is embraced by a naked female character. In others, Radcliffe poses against the mane of a white horse and sits against a haystack watching his topless co-star. While many will have been reaching for the scissors and making space on their bedroom walls in between the David Beckham calendar and Brad Pitt posters the risqué pictures didn’t go down so well with the Uncle Vernons and Aunt Petunias among us. In the days after the images were released, Harry Potter websites were hit with a deluge of disapproving e-mails from parents, at least one even going so far as to claim that as parents they will be boycotting Radcliffe’s future projects as the actor is setting a bad example to their young son. We hope they have prepared for tears before bedtime when the fifth movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is released this summer! Where are the Monty Python crew when you need them to screech, “He’s not Harry Potter, he’s a very naughty boy?” Not all the response over the Internet has been bad of course. Many have defended the actor’s decision to stretch his wings with a powerful role such as this and have wished him luck.

Equus was written by Peter Shaffer in 1973 and tells the story of a disturbed 17-year-old called Alan Strang (played by Radcliffe in the new production) and the complex relationship he has with a psychiatrist named Dysart who is assigned to treat Strang after he is found guilty of poking several horses’ eyes out. “The best way I can think of summarizing it is that it is about the pain that comes with the extremes of passion, and the passion that must be given up if you’re to become an acceptable member of society,” Radcliffe tells us enthusiastically, When I did it I knew that that [the naked scene] was the bit that everybody would be talking about. It’s a very important bit of the play but its not the whole play. It’s very moving and it’s very intelligent; not gratuitous.”

There's more in
Xposé #102

Equus pictures © Uli Weber/www.equustheplay.com
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

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Xposé #102
March 2007
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