Equus (on Broadway) (Spoilers!)

I saw “Equus” on Broadway. Yes, yes, very sexy, etc.

I read in a netflix review of the film version that the character Alan Strang really isn’t sexually interested in horses, but that the Equus that he loves is really a symbol of repressed homosexuality.

My initial thoughts in the scene where Alan first sees the older boy riding the horse on the beach was that the reason he liked horses had to do with the attractive youth. They also show him riding the boy’s shoulders (since there’s no actual horse in the scene). So I did sort of think, “Hmm, maybe it’s about him being gay.”

But then when he recounts Equus, it seemed like he genuinely loved horses. And Nugget in particular. I don’t know, I think I’d like it a little less if it was “just” that he was gay. Though obviously, the play is much more than that, it’s also about our Apollonian and Dionysian sides and all that.

Just curious to see what others made of it.

I have a ticket to see it on Saturday night. I’ll be back to let you know what I thought of it!

I saw Equus as, among other things, God (the horse picture replaces the bleeding Jesus picture and both watch over him, one taking the place of the other) and of sexuality in general. I never got that Alan’s gay, he just has enormous sense of guilty over sex and his body and anger at God.

I just got back from seeing the show and I must say the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that it was funny. Not slapstick, laugh-a-minute funny, but there was plenty of humor there.

I didn’t get as much of a sexual connection between Alan and horses as a passionate spiritual connection. I think he was very attracted to Jill and had she picked anywhere else for their tryst he wouldn’t have had a problem with it. I think he would have suffered much guilt over it later, to be sure, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as dramatic an experience if it hadn’t been in the stable. It would be like a devout Christian losing their virginity in the narthex of their church. I also think his feeling like horses were “sexy” was a misunderstanding of the awe he felt at the time. He was 6 during that whole scene and it is really easy for children to misconstrue their internal signals. All of the stuff after that seemed to be steeped primarily in religion and his feelings of guilt.

I did a term paper on Equus back when I was in grad school 20 years ago. One of the prevailing critical beliefs (that I found while doing research) of the era was that it was obviously homosexual because Jill makes a comment about Alan’s butt being cute, and girls don’t look at boys’ bottoms that way. :rolleyes:

That’s kind of ridiculous. Are they positing that Jill is more masculine because she notices boys’ butts and that’s why Alan is into her?

The religion thing is definitely a huge part of it, I agree. One thing I wondered about–the psychiatrist character talks about how Alan Strang is a modern member of society who has no real contact with civilization–no books, no access to TV, etc. and thus has invented his own kind of religion, much like pagan people back in the day. Except I was kind of curious as to why he turned out that way. He went to school, his mother was a teacher, he even seems fairly educated in that one scene, about history. Is there any real reason he seems so distant from everyone around him?

IIRC, Mr. Ed and St. Trigger start their preaching* before *Alan can get into her.:cool:
Incidentally some pics of Radcliffe’s little pony from the production were leaked, making producers furious. I won’t link for obvious reasons, but you can google them up if interested (*equus photographs leak *should do it). From the angle of the shot it looks to me like they were taken from somebody back stage.