Left – Scott Middleton and Jeremy Kewley. Cover – Scott Middleton and Dylan Watson. Photos – Chris Baldock
Within the dark recesses of the human psyche there lies all manner or emotions, passions and terrifying consequences. Peter Schaffer’s award winning play Equus, delves within the more brutal aspect of obsessions and ponders whether conviction is more important than sanity.
Directed by Chis Baldock, Equus is a fictional story based on a real event. When a young boy is unbelievably violent in blinding six horses he is sent to a psychiatric hospital rather than serving a jail sentence where he meets child psychiatrist Martin Dysart (Jeremy Kewley).
Reluctant to take on the strange new patient, Dysart is however intrigued by the boy who has an intense and disturbing love of horses and to the passion that drove him to commit this violent act.
The young man in question is Alan Strang (Scott Middleton) who embodies both a childlike innocence and an unsettling demeanor throughout the performance.
As Dysart attempts to understand Strang’s mind he finds himself ever more drawn into the intense young man’s unique obsession and ultimately begins to question his own way of life and of thinking.
Shaffer’s play is an imagination of the events that preceded Strang’s attack and Baldock has brought this riveting concept to the Brunswick Mechanics Institute Performing Arts Centre with spectacular sets, lighting and costuming. The talented cast of horses are an ever-present eerie feature of the performance as they react to Strang’s dreams and confessions. The incredible headpieces of the horses make the action ever more real.
Joined on stage by Maggie Chretien, Soren Jensen and Amanda Mckay, Equus is a disturbing and sometimes uncomfortable story of social boundaries, obsession and worship. It is difficult to not feel sympathetic towards Middleton’s character, who’s own worship has driven him mad and to relate with Dysart who despite trying to help the boy is envious of his fevered love for this one being.
Mockingbird Theatre have created an exceptional piece of art that will have you question your own conviction when it comes to true love. Both disturbing and beautiful, Equus is a deeply moving performance well worth the almost 3 hour running time.
Mockingbird Theatre presents
by Peter Shaffer
Directed by Chris Baldock
Venue: Brunswick Mechanics Institute Performing Arts Centre | Cnr Glenlyon and Sydney Roads, Brunswick, VIC
Dates: August 3 - August 17, 2013
Tickets: $30 – $25