Support us
Close nav International Touring

Equus – International

About The Production

As of September 2019 the production has been seen by 31,000 people and been performed in the West End and across the UK. The production has been nominated for 5 Off West End Awards. 

The show is currently available for international touring in 2021 – 22 

To find out more, read the info below, or email ETT Producer Andrew Hughes  

Running Time 

Act 1 – 1 hour and 19 minutes 

Act 2 – 56 minutes 

Total Playing time – 2 hours and 15 minutes 

Total Running time – 2 hours and 35 minutes 


★★★★★ The Telegraph “Still has the power to shock and provoke shivers” 

★★★★★ Evening Standard Mesmerising intensity and intimacy 

★★★★★ The Stage Haunting, engrossing theatre…takes the breath 


Production Gallery

Creative Team

About The Show

Inspired by a true story, Peter Shaffer‘s gripping psychological thriller, EQUUS, explores the complex relationships between devotion, myth and sexuality.

When teenager Alan Strang‘s pathological fascination leads him to blind six horses in a Hampshire stable, psychiatrist Dr. Martin Dysart is tasked with uncovering

the motive behind the boy‘s violent act. As Dysart delves into Alan‘s world of twisted spirituality, passion and sexuality, he begins to question his own sanity and motivations in a world driven by consumerism.

Originally produced by English Touring Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Technical Rider   

  • The full show travels in one 45ft trailer 
  • Cast size of 8 
  • The Production Rigger/Carpenter, Production Sound Engineer and Prod LX/Re-Lighter will lead their respective areas of the Fit Up. 
  • The Sound Team (No.1 and No.2) tour with the show in addition to CSM, ASM, DSM, Wardrobe Manager and tour tech. 
  • We require thefollowing dedicated show staff for technical rehearsal and each pre-set/performance: Flys/Stage, 1 LX Operator, 1 duty technician 
  • We will require use of your washing and drying facilities although we do not require any wardrobe staff for maintenance or running of the show 
  • The show uses radio mics and will require an auditorium mix position with the ability to hear the stage clearly, appropriate seats should be held off sale for this.  
  • Warning Signs need to be displayed at all entrances to your auditorium regarding Strobe Lighting, Smoking, Nudity, Sudden Loud Noises and Theatrical Haze & Smoke. These can be done in your house style.  
  • One member of the cast begins the show on stage, we therefore request that the house is opened at the quarter-hour call (19:10 for a 19:30 performance). 

Further details are available on request. 


The Observer

Another mentally disturbed son is at large in Peter Shaffer’s 1973 play Equus: Alan Strang has blinded six horses in a stable one night and is in hospital, where a psychiatrist is trying to find out what made him do it. A stunning production at Theatre Royal Stratford East is directed with alternating constraint and abandon by Ned Bennett. Physical theatre rules: horses are played by men – which has a rightness to it in a play where horses and the homoerotic converge. Ira Mandela Siobhan plays Alan’s favourite steed, Nugget – almost naked and swivelling from the hips with the grace of a horse poured into a man’s body.

The avoidance of even a touch of pantomime (movement director Shelley Maxwell must take a bow) thrills. The same actor is mesmerising as a rider, perched high on another man’s shoulders with a cavalier (in every sense) smile. Alan is courageously played by Ethan Kai – it is not a part for the faint-hearted – and Zubin Varla, as the psychiatrist, skilfully holds the evening together with his neurotic commentary; disaffection his default position. You will not see a better production of this grim masterpiece.

The Telegraph

When Peter Shaffer’s ambitious psychodrama Equus first opened at the National Theatre in 1973, it was instantly celebrated. Based on a true story, the script focuses on disturbed 17-year-old Alan Strang, on trial for blinding six horses in one night, and the confessions he makes to his equally troubled psychiatrist Dr Dysart. Tackling daring themes of madness, morality and homoeroticism, and, chiming with a period of upended cultural assumptions, the play shocked and thrilled in equal measure. It was eventually made into a film (with Richard Burton as Dysart) in 1977.

The last production of Equus in 2007 (in the West End and then on Broadway) made quite a noise for altogether different reasons. Directed by Thea Sharrock and featuring actors wearing giant skeletal horse masks and cothurni (block-like stilts), it starred Daniel Radcliffe as Alan, and, though well received, was largely overshadowed by prolonged hysteria over the Harry Potter lead’s on-stage nudity.

Now a new adaptation by Ned Bennett has opened at Stratford East’s Theatre Royal. It has no props for its horses and no stars in its cast, yet it is all the better for it. On a stripped back stage lined with white curtains, there are no distractions: simply and a boy and his horse, caught up in one of the strangest, most complicated love stories of our time.

Alan, played with manic insecurity by Ethan Kai, is both sexually and spiritually excited by horses. His sense of identity disintegrating at the hands of his repressive father, he tastes his first bite of freedom on horseback, giving his small word newfound purpose. After taking on a job at a stable, Alan rides naked, secretly, every night in a state of quasi-religious fervour; the horse, played with mesmerising realism by Ira Mandela Siobhan, his god.

Alan’s ensuing act of violence (symbolically staged with deafening clangs of metal, flashing lights that briefly blind the audience and rising chants of “Equus, Equus, Equus!”) is triggered by his first sexual encounter with a girl, Jill (Norah Lopez Holden). Unable to separate skin from hide, horse from woman, he cannot perform, and his impotence crushes him.

Meanwhile, Dr Dysart (Zubin Varla) a lonely, overworked man who hasn’t kissed his wife in six years, becomes jealous of Alan’s obsession. “Without worship you shrink,” he says, “and when have I ever galloped?” Shaffer’s script is at once grotesque and tender, allowing the audience to feel both empathy and disgust.

Bennett and his cast maintain careful nuance throughout, and the doctor’s dry, semi-farcical exchanges with his patient offers moments of laugh-out-loud levity that make this production far more engaging than the po-faced film adaptation.

As Dr Dysart unravels the last buckled threads of Alan’s psyche to the detriment of his own, his words are frightening: “If Equus leaves, if he leaves at all,” he says, bleakly, “it will be with your intestines in his teeth.” No doubt the audience too will hear the haunting refrain long after curtain falls: Equus, Equus, Equus.

It is testament to the unique power of Shaffer’s script, and Bennett’s deft revival,  that almost half a century on from its first performance, Equus continues to provoke shivers.

The Evening Standard

What a magnificent evening this is. Director Ned Bennett, in a co-production with English Touring Theatre, revolutionises Peter Shaffer’s can-be-ponderous 1973 modern classic about a disturbed teenager and turns it into an intoxicating event that drips with physicality and theatricality.

Alan Strang (Ethan Kai) has blinded six horses with a metal spike and it’s up to world-weary psychiatrist Martin Dysart (Zubin Varla) to discover why.

Thence unfolds a psychological thriller both sensuous and disturbing as it interweaves repression, sexuality, religion and horses.

The increasing intensity and intimacy in the meetings between Strang and Dysart is mesmerising; as Alan breaks down, so too does Martin, desiccating in a loveless marriage. Kai, wild, and Varla, hunched, are an optimum pairing of opposites.

The playing space is a bare stage, surrounded by billowing curtains, onto which arrive occasional startling props.

The sinuous movement — a big shout-out to movement director Shelley Maxwell— is a wonder to behold; when the cast tramples impatiently as horses, it’s easy to imagine we can feel their panting breath on us.