Theater Review: Equus at FAU – More Than Just a Nude Scene
Peter Shaffer’s Equus, a suspenseful psychological drama, is playing through the weekend at FAU’s studio One Theater.
The show tells the story of psychiatrist Martin Dysart, who attempts to treat a young man, Alan Strang, who blinded six horses and appears to have a pathological religious fascination with them.
Both actors playing the lead roles, Scott Wells as Martin, and Connor Hammond as Alan, brought drama and passion to their parts – playing them with perfection.
“The chemistry between the broken psychologist and the broken teenager was astounding and really made the play,” said Gideon Grudo, a fellow colleague at SFGN.
Be warned though this play isn’t for a casual watcher, to catch everything that’s happening and understand what’s going on, careful attention must paid throughout the show. But it’s one of those plays that will keep you talking long after you leave the theater.
“It was a little confusing and a little hard to follow,” noted Beth Amado of Boca Raton.
It was in the second act that everything seemed to come together and the climatic scene at the end was powerful and dramatic, everything an ending should be.
“The scene where [Alan] broke down I got chills,” Amado said. “At the end everything made sense and tied in together.”
The show features a full frontal nude scene near the end. While today nudity on stage isn’t shocking, this play originated from 1973.
Before the show, Hammond said of his nude scene: “One of the most intimidating parts of approaching the role of Alan [is] the nudity. It is full frontal and it scared me for a while. It is a matter of getting to the point where the image of the world is so real and my work with my character is so strong that it no longer feels like Connor taking his clothes off – it is Alan.”
I can imagine what it must feel like being so exposed on stage so I give a lot of credit to Hammond whose nudity didn’t affect his performance at all – except in a good way.
This may be a college production, but it never once felt like it.
However Grudo did have on criticism: “They should have reset the play in America because none of them pulled off an English accent well. They all slipped in and out except for the psychiatrist, who did a good job.
If you go
When: Fridays through Sunday, until Feb. 24
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
General admission: $20
Students, faculty, staff, alumni and children under age 12: $12.
For More Information: www.fauevents.com/online or 1-800-564-9539.
*This play contains nudity and adult subject matter. Parental discretion advised. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.