Never let it be said that he isn't the kind of actor who doesn't like taking a few risks. While he's best known for his role as Harry Potter, the boy who lived, he'll soon be known as Daniel Radcliffe, the boy who took off all his clothes and acted out sexual ecstasy on stage.

Talks have been in motion for several months now, but according to an AP report Radcliffe, 17, has officially signed on to play the protagonist role of Alan Strang in a staged production of Peter Shaffer's controversial psychodrama "Equus". The show is set to run in London's West End next year. For those of you who neglected your literature studies in college, "Equus" is the story of a young man who undergoes psychiatric analysis after inexplicably blinding six horses with a metal spike. The play’s controversy most often stems from a scene in which Alan reaches the height of sexual ecstasy while riding naked on the back of a horse.

It’s something of a surprise that Radcliffe has been cast in such a major dramatic role, especially since his movie acting career has been fairly limited. This will be his debut on stage, meaning this show will be a major test of his acting abilities. “Equus” is a challenging play and the role of Alan is especially demanding. London theater critics aren’t known for their leniency and you can bet they’ll be ready to mark down Radcliffe’s performance as gratuitous marketing use of a movie star if he is anything less than perfect.

Most news related to this story will no doubt focus on Radcliffe’s bold choice of taking on such a controversial role. There might even be comparison with the bizarre choice of fellow child actor Dakota Fanning to star in a movie role that requires nudity and portrays graphic sexual abuse. It leaves one to wonder if Radcliffe is being pushed to extremes to get some non-Potter notoriety. On the other hand, this could be relatively innocent enough. In certain appropriate circumstances, some Equus productions have artistically opted to mask the nudity to allow easily scandalized audiences a chance to focus on the emotion. Either way, expect it to be a sell out show with all the world waiting to see how Radcliffe fares on stage.

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