Theater Review:'Equus'

Peter Shaffer's masterly Equus seems oddly dated, like a fly preserved in amber.

Theater Review 88 (photo credit: )
Theater Review 88
(photo credit: )
Equus By Peter Shaffer Directed by Roni Pinkovitch Translated by Doron Tavory Beit Lessin November 27 Because our children become too knowing too early, because we have almost become inured to ghastly stories of child or sexual abuse/misuse and gratuitous violence, Peter Shaffer's masterly Equus seems oddly dated, like a fly preserved in amber. It remains, nonetheless, a warning. Based on an actual trial in England, Equus tells the story of Alan Strang (Dan Shapiro), sent for psychiatric evaluation because, in a seemingly inexplicable and horrific crime, he has blinded six horses at the stable where he works. As he probes the sores of Strang's tangled emotional life, psychiatrist Martin Dysart (Doron Tavory) scratches the scabs from some of his own. The mundane orderliness that has fashioned the carapace for Strang's inner chaos is succinctly realized in this fine production. The action takes place inside Eran Atzmon's apt and understated circular showring of a set. The actors sit on chairs outside, spectators and participants. Pinkovitch's direction is unobtrusive, equally understated and elicits precise performances from all the cast. Tavory's edgy, humane, curious Dysart is full and rich, as is Shapiro's tortured, ecstatic and painfully naïve Alan. Shimon Mimran and Sandra Shonvald are earnestly unaware as Strang's parents, while Avshalom Levy has a beautiful, and yes, equine dignity as a horse. The PercaDu percussionists Tomer Yariv and Adi Morag produce a live soundtrack that complements without intruding.