“This production is sexually explicit and contains strong language.”

Given the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister’s apparent sensitivity in regard to portrayals of drunkness in dramas, what on Earth will he make of the one-week run of Equus at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, in March? And what on Earth will the NI First Minister make of it too? I’m sure front row seats could be arranged..

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  • wild turkey


    Forget the frontrow. I saw the play in New York many many moons ago (Anthony Hopkins as the shrink?). As I recall the cast and some of the audience were seated in bleacher seats on stage.

    There are a few minor revisions to the play incorported in the Opera house production.

    1. Dr. Martin (hmmm) Dysart is now analysing the strangest partneship he has yet to encounter.
    2. Both parents are solid christains, the tension between fundamentalist belief and aetheism is now replaced by a dispute as to
    3. whether the horse bolted the stables at the giants causeway or south armagh.
    4. in ruminating on his professional calling and lifes work, Dr DiesArt concludes that truth is the only victim.

  • Pete Baker


    I wouldn’t be surprised at all..

  • susan

    Ulster Says “Neigh”?

  • Rory

    Just let’s be grateful that the Deputy FM would no longer consider that a fitting punishment for anyone caught watching Equus would be to have their eyes gouged out with icepicks.

  • joeCanuck

    Good one, Susan.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    With many Irish people just recovering from the realisation that the expression “Ireland is a priest ridden country” was not what we thougt it meant I wonder if something similar is going to happend in relation to the expression “Ireland has a great love of horses”.

  • Wise Up

    I’m sorry to see that so many people seem to think that expressing disproval of alcohol or binge drinking somehow makes one an uncultured prude. Well I’m no prude, I read widely, am not overly religious and am fairly young but after watching three family members die through alcoholism I’m glad that someone here has finally stuck their head over the parapet and voiced opposition to the public acceptance of our drinking culture. Alcohol kills more people here every year than drugs and traffic accidents combined but for some reason it gets treated like incest – we all know its bad, but it’s so bad it can only be talked about in hushed tones. Well good man Martin, you’ve gotten this Prods support.

  • joeCanuck

    “Ireland has a great love of horses”.

    So why then are we going to the dogs?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Wsie Up,

    I agree with your serious point and it is a welcome change that, Catholic Ireland at least, had no problem with alcohol but was obsessed with with keeping sex off the agenda. Martin appears to have rightly stuck his oar in here but I think he may be a teetotaler?.

    The Prods on the other hand, were generally percieved as having a more relaxed attitude to sex and a stricter attitude to alcohol. As many Catholics indulged in the latter in order to get more of the former I think the Prods had the better deal.

    re. Madrai na H’Eireann – horses are one thing but as the old and very corny joke goes re. dogs -“Just how low can you get?”

  • joeCanuck

    Low enough to be Westminster champion maybe?

  • joeCanuck

    I’m in the middle of reading a great book (non fiction) about the world’s worst dog. It’s called Marley and Me and I highly recommend it for a good laugh and wee bits of sadness.

  • Rory

    Pete’s asking about the possible reactions of the First Minister to stage nudity reminds me of a production of a stage adaption of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones in which I played the Irishman and Redcoat, Captain Fitzgerald.

    The young actor who played the hero, Tom Jones, played one scene completely nude, artfully covering his genitals with well placed props throughout the fast and furious ever moving action. His moonlighting job as a gay male stripper served him well in this regard.

    I was having great difficulty with the Fitzgerald part in rehearsal. I tried a County Dublin accent and a West of Ireland accent and a Cork accent for the character and I was always left feeling somewhat uncomfortable, somehow not right.

    When I examined it I realised that I was having difficulty reconciling the idea of an Irishman serving in the Redcoat coat army to suppress the Scots and Irish at Culloden. Then the light went on – I would play him as Paisley! Which I did and very successful it was too with me roaring and guldering my way through the action while pursuing a naked Tom Jones with intent to run him through for fornicating with my wife, Lady Fitzgerald.

    So in a way we can say that the Doc has himself featured in a drama displaying full frontal nudity. And a damn fine job he did too. Or so my friends tell me.

  • susan

    I agree with Wise Up’s serious point, and did not see McGuinness’s statement as artistic censorship, but more common sense abouat what is after all in many households family viewing. . Alcohol (and driving under the influence) has destroyed many thousands more lives, and more families, than the Troubles, and yet so often it is the elephant in the room that never gets a mention until irreparable harm is done.

    Returning to the far lighter subject of Equus, I have far more to say on the subject…but you know fortunate for all of you I am feeling a little horse today. :op