Review: EQUUS – True art is best served dark and cold

Stooged Theatre’s first play of 2015 was certainly not for the faint-hearted. That said, the opening night of ‘Equus’ showcased the raw, affective talent of Newcastle finest acting troupe and rightfully reminded the full audience in the Civic Playhouse that true art is best served dark and cold.

Peter Shaffer’s 1973 classic, ‘Equus’ is world-renowned for its confronting, discomforting and captivating insight into the tormented psyche of 17-year-old Alan Strang. In satisfying our unashamedly voyeuristic fantasies, Strang’s mind, sexuality and ideology are meticulously deconstructed by psychiatrist Martin Dysart, and in doing so graphically portrays the perennial struggle between logic and heart.

As always, the acting warmed up to be impressive and poignant simultaneously. Callan Purcell (Alan Strang) gave his finest and most moving performance that I have witnessed to date; Timothy Blundell (Dysart) brought his wise, grounding and sassy stage presence (and over-sized suit jackets) as always, and Glen Waterhouse – well, let’s just say that I heard every woman in my close proximity swoon every time he walked down the stairs sans shirt. A simple set was offset by intense and provocative sound and lighting effects, and the voice of the nurse was both sublime and breathtaking – it almost took on a lead character in itself.

Presented by the ever-fabulous Mat Lee and ever-innovative Stooged Theatre, Equus is being staged at Civic Playhouse from March 4th – 14th. Tickets range from $25 – $35, but please bear in mind that this production contains nudity and sexual themes so Stooged Theatre recommends it for ages 16 and over.

Prepare yourself for an emotional journey laden with nervous laughter, missing-a-breath often and a sad story that will stay with you for many hours afterwards.

Performance times:
Wednesday March 4th – 8pm
Friday March 6th – 8pm
Saturday March 7th – 2pm and 8pm
Wednesday March 11th – 8pm
Thursday March 12th – 8pm
Friday March 13th – 8pm
Saturday March 14th – 8pm

Reviewed by Brooke Gizzi.

Category: News
Region: Newcastle
Artform: Theatre,

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