Domestication and Its Discontents

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Equus

by Peter Shaffer
Directed by Thea Sharrock
The Shubert Theatre,  New York

 

THE IDEA that madness brings you closer to God and to the creative spirit seems a holdover from the 1970’s, arguably our last “romantic” era. Today, the idea and the era are both quite dead. I’m reminded of this fact by the current revival of Peter Shaffer’s Equus, which pits Apollonian and Dionysian forces against each other in the persons of Martin Dysart, a hospital psychiatrist weary of life’s rational compromises, and Alan Strang, a teenage miscreant who has been sent for analysis after committing a grotesque act of rage and passion. Alan has, on one mad night, speared six horses blind in a stable near his home.

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