Equus, Paperback
2 out of 5 (1 rating)


Dr. Martin Dysart, a psychiatrist, is confronted with Alan Strang, a boy who has blinded six horses in a violent fit of passion.

This very passion is as foreign to Dysart as the act itself.

To the boy's parents it is a hideous mystery; Alan has always adored horses.

To Dysart it is a psychological puzzle that leads both doctor and patient to a complex and disturbingly dramatic confrontation.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 84 pages, Illustrations, 1plan
  • Publisher: Samuel French Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Plays, playscripts
  • ISBN: 9780573015663


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This play has sat on my shelf for eight years after getting it for a dollar at a theater flea market. (It's a Samuel French edition, but from London; the size is all wrong and the paper is all funny.) It seemed like a good idea at the time, since coming out of high school I self-educated myself in playwriting by simply reading every play I'd heard of. Heard of this one! But then I just sat there with it. A couple Saturdays ago I pulled it down to read. The play is getting a lot of press right now with a new production, so I wondered what it would be like.It's fine, turns out, is theatrical in the sense that it's hard to grasp the impact of several scenes without staging. There's also very good use of a chorus device, which is a favorite, and I believe that would have great impact on stage too. I like thinking that the writing was inspired by rumored true events, because I feel inspired by those kinds of too-true stories as well, and know they're hard to implement. Psychology and violence and sex and religion are all really thick themes, and here they're blended very seamlessly to all feel like the same impossible problem. That's a powerful feeling, but also requires some kind of conclusion to really be a lasting one. Mostly, though, we just get some 70s angst, which is different than an ending.I think today the play feels really put in its time. It's overwhelmingly male, and intellectual shock in 1973 is now what makes mainstream theater look like theater. It's hard to find plays that don't look like all other plays. It doesn't make them bad plays, but you wish there was something else.

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