"The thing is, I'm desperate. You see, I'm wearing that horse's head myself. That's the feeling. All reined up in old language and old assumptions, straining to jump clean-hoofed on to a whole new track of being I only suspect is there. I can't see it because my educated, average head is being held at the wrong angle. I can't jump because the bit forbids it, and my own basic force - my horsepower, if you like - is too little. The only thing I know for sure is this: a horse's head is finally unknowable to me."
Can passionate, even dangerous worship have a place in our orderly, mental health-obsessed culture? This is the question at the center of Equus. It is most definitely a play about big ideas. But it is also about a young man's struggle to find ecstasy in a world of limits and numbing normalcy. So towering is Alan Strang's passion, that it haunts the introspective but repressed Martin Dysart, the doctor in charge of his treatment. I cannot recommend this play more highly. It is just a great read, and will be fodder for much thought and questioning of your own.
Characters: 5M, 4W, chorus of horses
Scenes/Monologues: Many scenes, especially adult/teenager. Several monologues for middle-aged actors.
Recommended by: Adam
Also by Peter Shaffer:
Lettice and Lovage
The Private Ear
The Public Eye
The Royal Hunt of the Sun
The White Liars
Five Finger Exercise
Gift of the Gorgon
Whom Do I Have the Honour of Addressing?