Gone of the days of wand waving and charms, and behind him are the days (hopefully) of stripping off onstage to prove to the world that he's an Ac-tor. For now Daniel Radcliffe, the former Harry Potter child star, is taking a surprising, more earnest role playing the titular character in The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Radcliffe takes the role of 17 year-old orphan Billy, raised by two surrogate Aunts on the remote western Irish island of Inishmaan and who longs to escape both from the mundaneness of 1930s Aran Island life and from the constant victimisation he endures because of his condition. The arrival of a filmmaker on the islands gives bookish Billy a chance to sneak on set and is given a screen test by Hollywood and glimpse into the movie world far away from sheep farms and inane island gossip.

The play, first written in 1997 by Martin McDonagh, has received a major revival from Michael Grandage's award-winning Grandage Company, which is currently in season at the prestigious Noel Coward Theatre. Radcliffe will star alongside actress Sarah Greene who plays a young mischief-maker and "gives a riproaring performance and steals every scene she's in."

Described as a "dark, politically incorrect comedy" by The Independent's Paul Taylor, Radcliffe's performance as the physically challenged Billy is praised as "genuine", "sensitive" and "unshowy", despite a less-than-convincing Irish accent.

Radcliffe is doing well to avoid being pigeonholed in schoolboy or fantasy characters in his post-Potter environment. In an interview with BBC Radio 2 he recognises that the teenage wizard will forever hang over all his future performances and admits he has been embarrassed by his acting during his earlier films and has plenty to learn.

From the 'boy who lived', to the actor who managed to find life after one of the world's biggest movie franchises, Daniel Radcliffe is proving that he's serious about this acting lark and wants to show the world his acting integrity. 

daniel radcliffeDaniel Radcliffe 
Daniel Radcliffe Pictured During His Involvement In The Play, Equus [L] And [R] At The Final Harry Potter Premiere.