WHEN a company of the calibre of the London Classic Theatre comes to Kilkenny it is disappointing to see so many empty seats in the Watergate Theatre last Wednesday night.
Those who attended were transfixed for the duration of the play, which caused controversy when it was first performed in the 1970’s. The play by Peter Shafter tells the story of Alan Strang, a young man who has a pathological fascination with horses and ends up in a secure psychiatric unit after he is convicted of blinding six horses with a metal spike.
The acting was strong with stellar performances from Matthew Pattimore, who played the role of Alan Strang and Malcolm James who took on the part of Martin Dysart. The subject matter of the play, which was directed by Michael Cabot, although complex and disturbing provides a fascinating storyline and brings the audience along a dark journey when on occasion we question the sanity the psychiatrist as well as his client. The themes of religion and sexuality are to the fore in this play and it is not for the light hearded.
It takes the audience far out of their comfort zone and makes us explore what drives people to do heinous and evil acts and the grey matter between the lines of black and white that everyday society draws for us.
The set was superb and the horses were magnificient with their metallic designs. The actors who took on the roles of the horses were fantastic, revealing majestic movement and poise throughout the play.