Ranan is delighted to announce our new production, a dance and theatre staging of Peter Shaffer's landmark play, Equus. The production will open at Gyan Manch in April 2009. We look forward to sharing this process of creation with you by regularly sharing updates about the development of this production.
Equus: the play
Equus is an intriguing exploration of normalcy and insanity, passion and pain, worship and religion. Written in the 1970s inspired by the report of a violent incident, the play delves into the mind of 17-year old Alan Strang, a boy with a strange fascination for horses, a boy who blinds six of these animals in an inexplicable fit.
Through a series of encounters with a psychiatrist, we come face to face with more questions than answers. What is normal, what is worship, what is passion, what is individuality? Can what is accepted as 'normal' behaviour in society smother a far more spirited and passionate way of being, of experiencing life, of offering oneself totally and unconditionally at the altar of a personal God? Which is being more truly alive - living safely and happily or developing a very personal pain and passion? Peter Shaffer's play throws up all these issues using the mythic figure of a horse as metaphor for worship, passion, pain and danger.
Echoes of Equus today: Ranan's interpretation
The faces of violence are getting younger and younger. School shootings, fatal arguments over petty and ridiculous issues, mob violence, street gangs, terrorists . Each symptomatic of the world we inhabit, a world where is okay to react with such extremity on the slightest of provocations, a paradoxical world where inclusion and enhanced technological connectivity go hand in hand with exclusion and human disconnect.
Alan Strang could be any of the perpetrators involved in the apparently random acts of youth violence - individual and collective, personal and communal - we encounter so regularly today. He exists in a vacuum with no regular friends, confused, alienated and rudderless except for his befuddled, intense and extreme ideas of religious devotion jumbled up with closeted adolescent sexual cravings. It is all too easy for him to recede into a fantasy world of his own creation where reality and illusion are intertwined impenetrably, where secret and guilty passions grow into obsessions, where the idea of freedom of choice and interpretation is in a volatile mixture with an absence of guidance and direction - dissolving all sense of perspective, all notions of ground reality, all clarity of informed response
Ranan's production finds echoes of Equus in the world we inhabit today, in the ever-tightening margins of a society that has begun to exist on the borderlines of fear surrounding itself with the tools of violence to feel safer.
"Extremity is the point", says Dr. Dysart of Alan's act of violence: how much more extreme can the world today be?