Theatre Review: Equus – Saddled With Expectations, Or How Is Happiness Harnessed?

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Bruce Dennill

Writer. Reader. Singer. Songwriter. Believer. Likes to learn.

All content by Bruce Dennill first published on pARTicipate, republished with permission.
Bruce Dennill

By BRUCE DENNILL

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Equus / Directed by Fred Abrahamse / Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre, Fourways, Johannesburg

 

The tagline on the poster for this production of Peter Shaffer’s classic play – “For those who loved it – for this missed it” – acknowledges that Equus is neither a new nor a fresh piece. And Fred Abrahamse’s production (which is new) retains the details of the original story – the techniques used by a psychiatrist protagonist, for instance – that place it in its original temporal context (the play was written and first staged in 1973).

For those who have seen the piece before, once or repeatedly, there are touches that will add new interest here, including the horse costumes, which include magnificent steampunk-style headdresses and catwalk-ready hooves that add the better part of a foot to the wearer’s height. And of course, there are the risqué elements – the threads about ritual sacrifice, the hints at bestiality and the graphic…

To read the complete pARTicipate review visit http://www.brucedennill.co.za/theatre-review-equus-saddled-with-expectations-or-how-is-happiness-harnessed/

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