'Equus' is tethered to tame production (July 2005)

everybody’s a critic.(c) BK
'Equus' is tethered to tame production By Michael Eck [July 20, 2005]

Special to the Times Union
First published: Wednesday, July 20, 2005

STOCKBRIDGE, MASS. -- Seventeen-year-old Alan Strang has blinded six horses, digging at their eyes with a hoof pick.
It's Dr. Martin Dysart's task to determine why; and beyond that to help exorcise the demons that have driven the boy to such desperate action.

Peter Shaffer's play "Equus" created quite a controversy on its premiere in 1973. More than 30 years later, it still retains the power to shock, but not in the production currently on view at Berkshire Theatre Festival.

Director Scott Schwartz has created a show with impressive visuals and a few strong players, but it seems he has forgotten about the raw psychological energies and traumas that drive Shaffer's sсript.

Victor Slezak is solid as Dr. Dysart. He needs to be. He is onstage throughout the entire play.

Slezak portrays Dysart as a man of many layers. Shaffer paints him into a stalled marriage, he puts dreams of ancient Greece in his head and he even makes him envy Strang for the very passions that push him over the edge. Slezak defines each of these traits, despite the fact that he is essentially a very talking head.

It's good work.

The physicality of the play belongs to television actor Randy Harrison who plays Strang.

Harrison is simply not ready for the role.

Throughout much of the first act, he is cardboard. He speaks words without portraying them -- and it's folly to attribute that to the fact that his character has shut down.

In the second act -- in which Strang begins to reveal the reasons behind his actions -- Harrison actually seems afraid of the character. He delivers lines as though he is standing beside himself, and his expressions of desire for the young stable girl, Jill Mason, are wooden and unconvincing.

The fact that so much of "Equus" hinges on Strang's tangle with nature, religion and sexuality -- he is the victim of a messy mix of the Bible, western movies, children's books, English socialism and raging hormones -- is mooted by Harrison's lack of a performance.

The supporting cast includes Tara Franklin as Jill and Roberta Maxwell as magistrate Hesther Salomon; Maxwell, curiously, played Jill in the original Broadway production of the play.

As noted, Schwartz's "Equus" is quite visually striking, benefiting from the combined skills of set designer Beowulf Boritt, costume designer Jess Goldstein, lighting designer Kevin Adams, sound designer Ray Schilke and choreographer Gus Solomons jr. Solomons, who appeared as a spirit in the recent BTF Unicorn production of August Strindberg's "The Father," is responsible for the movements of the half-dozen actors who play the all-important horses.

"Equus" is rarely produced outside of ambitious college venues, so it's worth a look if you've never seen it. But remember, there is much more to Alan Strang than Randy Harrison can muster. Michael Eck is a freelance writer from Albany and a regular contributor to the Times Union.



When/Performance Reviewed: 8 p.m. Tuesday Where: Berkshire Theatre Festival, Main Street, Stockbridge, Mass. Running Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes. One intermission Continues: 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Matinees, 2 p.m. Thursday and Saturday Tickets: $36-$63 Info: (413) 298-5576 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (413) 298-5576 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.berkshiretheatre.org

@темы: 2005, equus, theatre

2011-11-14 в 22:06 

"Personally, I would have been far more intrigued watching B/J read the phone book to each other than watching the Faerie Gathering or anything Ben/M ever did..."
ух ты, как они его)
хотя speaks words without portraying - это точная характеристика Ренди в 4-м сезоне

2011-11-15 в 20:36 

everybody’s a critic.(c) BK
ух ты, как они его)
да.. критик определенно cunt(с)JT))
но ваще правда, жестко...
я сразу вспомнила его прошлогоднее интервью, мы это как-то обсуждали, помнишь наверное, где он сказал, что однажды прочитал нечто такое, что после этого практически не мог продолжать работать и после той истории перестал читать ревью,

MW: Have you ever read reviews?

HARRISON: Yes, but I stopped because, amidst a bunch of good reviews, I got one review that made it almost impossible for me to continue performing the show. It was just something that hurt me. And I realized that there was no reason to it. The review was meaningless to me, or anyone surrounding the project, so why risk something that's going to make me unable to do what I've been hired to do?

мне было очень интересно, что же он такого прочитал, что его так задело, а прочтя вот это про equus сразу подумала, а не вот ли оно, то самое

2011-11-15 в 22:37 

"Personally, I would have been far more intrigued watching B/J read the phone book to each other than watching the Faerie Gathering or anything Ben/M ever did..."
moveforever, я тоже подумала про это, но он в прошлогоднем разве первый раз говорил, что из-за этого интервью не читает?Мне казалось он еще раньше где-то говорил о критике, но могу ошибаться.


Randy Harrison. Interviews.