Equus (Nomadic Artists)

equus1Venue: The Italian Forum Cultural Centre (Leichhardt NSW), Sep 11 – 28, 2013
Playwright: Peter Shaffer
Director: Michael Campbell
Actors: Martin Portus, Michael Brindley, Lyn Lee, Brinley Meyer, Lucas Glover

Theatre review
It is the reality of theatre in Australia that few companies are able to pull together enough resources to engage crew and cast from “the best in the business”. It is therefore always admirable when theatre groups are formed under less than ideal financial circumstances, to dream up and create a grand work of art. This production of Equus is bold in its vision, and for all its young participants (especially producer Elliot Marsh), a courageous and ambitious early step in their careers.

Michael Brindley plays Alan Strang with conviction and focus. His performance is an energetic and fearless one, but the young actor does come across miscast in the role. Brinley Meyer is strongest in the cast as Jill Mason. She brings a polish and confidence to the production, and elevates a relatively small role into a memorable one. Meyer’s portrayal introduces strong sexuality while maintaining a sense of authenticity to her characterisation.

All elements in this production are well-intended and dignified in their approach, but the lack of experience does unfortunately come into view. The story and themes do not communicate distinctly as a result, but the show’s concepts in its staging are strong. From the adventurous use of space and levels, to the creative choreographic elements in the representation of horses, good talent is displayed. This is very early days yet for Nomadic Artists, and Equus marks an auspicious start for greater things to come.