Equus Film Analysis

Amazing Essays
Bareback Scandal

The play Equus was written by Peter Shaffer in 1973, and opened the same year. Since then it has been adapted for film, and has been revived for the stage. In 2007 it was reset with a famous British cast. It is interesting to compare the critical response of the original production and the revival. There aren’t very many reviews left of the original because it was 30 years ago, and they did not have as much media coverage back then. For the revival, however, there are a lot of reviews. The 1970s reviews primarily attention is on the content of the play itself, where as the media concerning the 2000s revival mainly focuses on Daniel Radcliffe. This later media attention concentrates less on the play, and more on the scandal
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It also has made him marketable and relatable as a feminist spokesperson. What is less relatable is the amount of roles Daniel Radcliffe has performed that require nudity. When asked if performing naked on stage and film was a rebellion, Radcliffe declared, No, the first time I got naked was actually in Harry Potter. There’s that scene in number four, which I was weirdly young, and then after that, I’m sure there was at least some half naked stuff. Yeah, it’s been a theme of my entire career. And I could have never predicted that when I was ten. (Daniel Radcliffe, Freund)
It does seem to be a pattern in his career, and one he himself, and the media often comment on.“I think every film I’ve done this year [2012] I’ve had to get at least partly naked in” (Daniel Radcliffe, The Graham Norton Show). Equus still was his first time being naked on stage, and was talked about much more than his other nude scenes. Many reviews of Equus focus on the fact that he was playing a very different role to what the world was used to seeing him
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The main difference in the critical response of the 1973 and 2007 productions are a result in changing culture. In the 1973 production the only people exposed to nudity on stage were those in the cast, crew, and audience. This meant that everyone exposed to the nudity in Equus saw it within its context. With the growing involvement of the media it is possible to see, and speculate about nudity in live plays, without ever seeing the play. Taking away context for nudity is part of the reason why so many critics and tabloids had mixed feelings about Radcliffe performing the role, which created the overpowering amount of media attention. The main difference between the critical responses to the original production, and the revival, are a result of a shift in

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