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Equus - Peter Shaffer
Teenager Alan Strang foghut over by a religious mother and an atheist father, finally finds himself release in horses. Then something drives him to bling them with a spike. Why? While treating the boy psyciatrist Dysart discovers his own life is paradoxically under his watchful eye and this savage but passionate play tries to pinpoint the modern human spiritual quest - and does it with amazing style and fluidity.
This penetrating and profound insight into the human mind and the way in which we, as a race, are influenced by all that is around us, elucidates to us that we clearly are weaker than what we think we are. The play centres around two main charecters, Alan Strang and Martin Dysart. Dr Dysart dominates the play by his very presence throughout and by the control of his narration and over his patient Alan. He does not stop at anything to evaluate what is actually 'wrong' with Alan. He encourages Alan to speak about his childhood and uncovers a repressed family setting of religion and no passion which mirrors the false pretence of his homelife and realises that it may not be Alan who is in need of help, but the rest of us, all of us.
Equus has a strong narrative thrust; the audience is curious to know what drove Alan Strang to commit his crime in the first place, and Shaffer's choice of language - direct, sparse, expletive, and his depiction of nudity and violence are clearly set out to shock. And it does - it will make you stop and think about yourself and whether you are actually who and what you want to be or whether you have, like most of us, been moulded into what others want us to be.
A thought-provoking and illustrative read for all to enjoy, you will never look at yourself - or others in the same way again.
PS. I haven't rad the others in this book as i only have equus as a single text. Sorry.