Written in 1973, the play follows the story of psychiatrist Dr. Martin Dysart who treats a young man named Alan Strang who has developed an extreme, obsessive fascination with horses.
The play is inspired by a true story, when a 17-year-old boy was convicted of blinding six horses in a town in Suffolk. Shaffer wanted to imagine what might have caused someone to do such a thing, and so the play is set out as Dr Dysart's investigation into Strang.
The cast of Bennett's production will return for the Trafalgar Studio run, and that includes Robert Fitch, Keith Gilmore, Ethan Kai, Syreeta Kumar, Norah Lopez Holden, Ruth Lass, Ira Mandela Siobhan, and Zubin Varla.
In his review of the Stratford East production, Mark Shenton hailed the production frequently dazzling, and acutely truthful'.
Equus received its stage premiere at the National Theatre in 1973, directed by John Dexter. It went on to play Broadway at the Plymouth Theatre in 1974, and it then ran for over 1,000 performances at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Over the course of the run, the production starred Anthony Hopkins, Richard Burton, Leonard Nimoy and Anthony Perkins.
The play was revived in London in 2007 when Daniel Radcliffe starred in Thea Sharrock's production at the Gielgud Theatre. Radcliffe's casting as Alan Strang garnered much media attention as the 17-year-old actor, who was at the height of his Harry Potter fame, was required to appear naked on stage.
Equus will feature scenes with nudity, strong language and adult themes and is unsuitable for audience members under 16 years of age. There will be strobe lighting during the production for 7 seconds.
Equus tickets at Trafalgar Studio One are available now.
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Cast and creative
By: Peter Shaffer
Songs by: Giles Thomas
Director: Ned Bennett
Cast list: Robert Fitch, Keith Gilmore, Ethan Kai, Norah Lopez Holden, Ira Mandela Siobhan and Zubin Varla
Design: Georgia Lower
Lighting: Jessica Hung Han Yun
Choreography: Shelley Maxwell
Sound: Giles Thomas