The Playgoer: Harry & the Horseplay

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Harry & the Horseplay

Some amusing reportage from the notebook of Michael Riedel on the opening of the West End "Equus" revival marking the great Richard Griffiths' first stage performance since his triumph in "History Boys" as the star of this seering Peter Schaffer psycho-drama.

Oh yeah, and it also has the Harry Potter guy. Getting naked.

"You've got to be a serious pedophile to find him sexy,"one person says. "He's a teenage boy who is not fully developed yet."

The sexual chemistry between Radcliffe and the actress who plays his girlfriend seems to be lacking. There should also be some sexual tension between him and Griffiths, but that, too, is not apparent yet in this production. (Maybe we should be grateful for small favors.)

Since some theatergoers are there to get a glimpse of Harry Potter in the nude, the house is full of security guards. Right before Radcliffe disrobes, they fan out into the aisles, looking everywhere for cameras. They've missed a few, however, and pictures have appeared all over the Web.

The upshot?
"Equus" will open next week with $3 million in the bank, the highest advance for a nonmusical play in West End history.

Yes, in this age of uncertainty, naked celebrities on stage may just be the last bankable bet in a producer's arsenal...

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