We've known this day was coming for months now, and yet no amount of time could fully prepare us mentally for the horror of seeing Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe standing around naked next to a horse he's about to do in with a great big metal spike.
But that's what's happened. Daniel Radcliffe's in-no-way kneejerk decision to go from playing wholesome kiddie wizard Harry Potter to some deranged naked boy who stabs horses in the eyes in a new stage run of Equus has resulted in the first publicity shots from Equus being published all over the place. And what does Harry Potter look like naked, psychologically berserk and standing next to a horse that he's about to stab in the eye while simultaneously worshipping it as some kind of horse-god and forcing a policeman to dream that he's ritually pulling the beating hearts out of hundreds of screaming children? We'll tell you just as soon as we've stopped crying and working out just what the hell we're doing with our lives.
This is a tough time for Harry Potter fans. The final Harry Potter book – Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – is simply a title and nothing more, and it'll be months before we can see Harry Potter kissing a girl in the new Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix movie. So what are the legions of Harry Potter fans to do? Daniel Radcliffe has the answer – they can all go and see him prance around a stage with his cock out stabbing horses in the eye with a metal spike in a play so thematically complex that it barely fits into modern notions of drama.
Of course, Equus isn't the first non-Harry Potter role for Daniel Radcliffe – he also played a young boy sent off to war in a TV production of My Boy Jack, but that didn't involve him getting his cock or bum out, so it probably doesn't count.
Ever since the Harry Potter naked horsey play Equus was announced last summer, opinions have been split over Daniel Radcliffe's decision to play the character its Alan. Some have said that playing a disturbed boy who mutilates horses in the nude as a subconscious outcry for the power of the soul in an increasingly normalised and mechanised world will ultimately set Radcliffe free from the chains that typify a child-star's career in the post-adolescent age, and others have said "Urrrr! You can see Harry Potter's knob! That's fucking disgusting!"
And now the world can see exactly what Daniel Radcliffe will look like in Equus, as the
stunningly opportunistic beautifully staged publicity photos for Equus have been released. To accompany them, Equus producer David Pugh has been talking about Daniel Radcliffe. Did Pugh mention the versatility that Radcliffe displayed when asked to humanise the dichotomy of a boy who who is so aroused by horses that he is then forced to torture them? Did he comment on the moral dilemma at the heart of the play concerning the treatment of the mentally ill? No. He started talking about how big Daniel Radcliffe's penis is:
Urgh, creepy. Despite all this, though, Equus is a good play that deserves to be seen by all, from the spectacular ending to Act One where Daniel Radcliffe plays My Boy Lollipop on a makeshift xylophone made out of horses' eyes and a stabbing spike to the oft-discussed ambiguity of the closing line: "I'm gonna stab some fucking horses! I'm gonna stab 'em right in the eye! In the bloody nude!"
Equus opens next month. You could book tickets now, or alternatively wait until the inevitable nude Harry Potter pictures crop up on the internet and save yourself some money.