July 28, 2006

Naked Potter?

Daniel Radcliffe, the 17-year-old star of the hugely popular "Harry Potter" movies, will play the role of an emotionally disturbed boy who takes off his clothes and blinds horses in a London revival of Peter Shaffer's drama "Equus," The Post has learned.

The production is scheduled to open in the West End in January.

Richard Griffiths, known to millions of Harry Potter fans as nasty Uncle Vernon, has been asked to co-star as the psychiatrist who tries to save the boy, a production source said. Griffiths won a Tony Award last month for his performance in the hit Broadway play "The History Boys."

Griffiths, who declined comment for this article, was with Radcliffe last week, shooting the fifth installment of the Harry Potter series, "Order of the Phoenix." In an interview with The Post shortly before "The History Boys" opened, Griffiths wondered how Radcliffe and the other young "Harry Potter" stars would fare as the movies got darker and more complex.

"Massive acting demands are going to be made on them," he said. "And the question is: Will they have the emotional technique to do it?"

"Equus" - an intense and disturbing drama - will certainly make huge acting demands on Radcliffe, who has never acted on stage. A modern classic, it deals with the complex question of how a conservative, well-ordered society deals with a brutal but passionate act. The play first opened on Broadway in 1974, with Anthony Hopkins as the psychiatrist and Peter Firth as the troubled boy. It won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1975, and ran 1,200 performances, making it one of the most successful Broadway dramas of all time.

Source: New York Post

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