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There are just so many times an actor can be directed to "pretend the dangling, green tennis ball is a fearsome Dragonunicorncyclops lunging at you!" before he starts to feel a little underchallenged in his craft. It should come as no surprise, then, that Daniel Radcliffe, the 17-year-old who plays Harry Potter, has decided to take on the lead role in Equus, a "serious" play on London's West End, which, from the sounds of it, will offer plenty of opportunities to stretch his instrument:

The play delves into the psyche of a boy named Alan Strang who blinds six horses with a metal spike. The production is scheduled to open next March in the West End theater district, said spokesman Peter Thompson.

"It is an extraordinary play, and he's very much looking forward to the role," Radcliffe's spokeswoman, Vanessa Davies, said Friday. "He is maturing as an actor and beginning to take on new and challenging roles."

In one scene the actor playing Strang is required to simulate sexual ecstasy while riding a horse naked.

Should the actor find himself not up to the considerable challenges of the role, we'd recommend drawing upon past performance experiences— perhaps by telling himself that he's sporting a cloak of invisibility as he mounts his equine perch, or, should frigid theater temperatures take their anatomically diminishing toll, merely convince himself Hermione has mischievously enacted a "Reducio!" spell on him whose effects are only temporary.