Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe's performance in London play Equus has been hailed by critics and co-stars alike after its first night. The 17-year-old plays a tortured teenager in the Peter Shaffer-written play, a role that requires him to strip nude - and all agreed the young star has cast off the shackles of his most famous role, as J.K. ROWLING's boy wizard. Richard Griffiths, Radcliffe's co-star in Harry Potter and Equus, said after last night's (27FEB07) opening at the West End's Gielgud Theatre, "He has an old head on young shoulders. He has to be regarded in a new way because he is a proper actor." Other stars in the audience agreed. Theatregoer Christian Slater says, "The work Daniel did on stage was extraordinary. I take my hat off to him completely. He was brave, adventurous and courageous." And the critics are united in their praise. The Daily Telegraph's theatre critic today (28FEB07) wrote, "Brilliant Radcliffe throws off Harry Potter's cloak. He is a thrilling stage actor of unexpected range and depth." The Daily Mail added, "What was striking was the emergence of young Dan Radcliffe in the artistic raw, tested as an actor and found equal to the stretching role."