Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe is in talks to take a controversial role in Peter Shaffer's classic stage play Equus.

The 16-year-old star is being lined up for the lead role in the powerful drama, which centres around about a young stablehand who blinds six horses in a torrid ritual.

The controversial play, which is set to hit London's West End in January 2007, caused a sensation when it opened at the capital's National Theatre nearly three decades ago and will also require the young star to simulate reaching the height of sexual pleasure while riding naked on his horse.

Directed by acclaimed movie-maker Kenneth Branagh, the play is one of three productions being staged as part of the Oscar-winning playwright's 80th birthday celebrations.

THE ROYAL HUNT FOR THE SUN, directed by Trevor Nunn, and AMADEUS, directed by JOHN DOYLE, will also grace the West End.