The original text
It is the story of Alan Strang, a stable boy whom a magistrate has sent to a busy, initially reluctant psychiatrist. The boy has been in court for putting out the eyes of five horses with a hoof-pick. The unfurling of the careful wrappings of the boy's mind is the essence of the play.
Translations and adaptations
Shaffer adapted the play for a 1977 film starring Richard Burton, Peter Firth, Eileen Atkins, Colin Blakely, Joan Plowright, and Jenny Agutter, directed by Sidney Lumet.
South African productions
1975: First produced in South Africa by Pieter Toerien. Directed by Leonard Schach at the Nico Malan Opera House, for the Pieter Toerien management in 1975. Schach had to meet with Publications Board about the nudity scene where the boy kills the horses. They objected to the boy's nudity, but not to the killing of the horses. Schach offered to compromise by lowering the lighting by a few degrees and the production went ahead. The production featured Dai Bradley and John Fraser as the psychiatrist, both of whom came from London to play the roles, alongside locals Robert Butler, Kim Braden, Anne Courtneidge, Fiona Fraser as Hester, Michael Howard and Edwin van Wyk. Decor realised by Bill Smuts. This production was also staged in the Civic Theatre, Bloemfontein and in the Civic Theatre, and later His Majesty's Theatre, Johannesburg.
1978: Staged in the Afrikaans translation by Die Geselskap, directed by Mario Schiess, featuring Marius Weyers (Martin Dysart), Jacques Malan (Alan Strang), Rika Sennett (Dora Strang), Abri le Roux (Frank Strang), Aletta Bezuidenhout (Hester Solomon), Bo Petersen (Jill Mason), Louw Odendaal (Harry Dalton), Marcel van Heerden (Nugget), Elize van Vuuren (Verpleegster) and others. Lighting by Mannie Manim. In Pretoria it was done at the Show Grounds theatre, as it was not allowed in any city theatre.
1982: The Afrikaans translation by Yvette Weyers was presented in the H.B. Thom Theatre by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch in April, directed by Noël Roos, with Johann van Heerden (Martin Dysart), Neels Engelbrecht (Alan Strang), Anton Smith (Frank Strang), Elzette Pretorius/Ilzebet Uys (Dora Strang), Isadora Verwey (Hester Salomon), Tossie van den Heever/Karen Usmar-Blake (Jill Mason & Verpleegster), Herman Pretorius (Harry Dalton), Albert Maritz (Ruiter & Nugget) and others.
1985: Presented by Pieter Toerien at the Alhambra Theatre opening 10 August 1985 and at the Baxter Theatre in December 1985, directed by Rex Garner and Robert Whitehead, starring New Zealand-born Darryl Forbes Dawson, Jeremy Crutchley ("Alan Strang"), Christine le Brocq, Joanna Palmer, Norman Coombes, Shelagh Holliday, Paul Buckby, Drummond Marais, Merle Lifson and Robert Butler. Revived in 1991 and 1999 (the latter directed by Roy Sargeant, with Sean Taylor).
1988: Performed in Afrikaans (the translation by Yvette Weyers) by the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department. This was a fully nude student version of the play and was again directed by Noël Roos, with Waldemar Schultz as Alan Strang, Perlé van Schalkwyk and Lin-y Kruger alternating as the girl, and featuring Jannie Hofmeyr as the psychiatrist and Adri Aucamp as the mother.
1991: Presented by Pieter Toerien at the Alhambra Theatre opening 10 August 1985 and at the Baxter Theatre in December 1985, directed by Rex Garner and Robert Whitehead, starring New Zealand-born Darryl Forbes Dawson, Jeremy Crutchley ("Alan Strang"), Christine le Brocq, Joanna Palmer, Norman Coombes, Shelagh Holliday, Paul Buckby, Drummond Marais, Merle Lifson and Robert Butler.
2013: Performed by UJ Arts & Culture at the Con Cowan Theatre at the University of Johannesburg in April. Directed by Alby Michaels, with Jeremy Richard, Pieter Rossouw , Anton Dekker, Lizelle de Klerk, Isadora Verwey and Jonathan Taylor.
Equus (play) in Wikipedia.
Donald Inskip, 1977. p 128.
UTS theatre programme, April 1982.
The Argus, Novenber 25 1985.
Die Geselskap theatre programme (undated).
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