Reactions to 17 year-old Daniel Radcliffe‘s lead performance in a just-opened West End revival of Peter Shaffer‘s Equus have been respectful and admiring. Daily Telegraph critic Charles Spencer said that he “brilliantly succeeds in throwing off the mantle of Harry Potter, announcing himself as a thrilling stage actor of unexpected depth and range.” Good for that — throwing off mantles can be a tricky thing at times.

Joanna Christie, Daniel Radcliffe

Radcliffe plays an extremely hung-up, possibly insane English kid who’s blinded six horses, but the more startling aspect is that he plays a big scene in the altogether. “We’re all kind of freaked out about seeing his — well, him naked,” 20 year-old Erin Tobin tells N.Y. Times reporter Sarah Lyall. “I still think of him as an 11-year-old boy.”

It will be hard for Radcliffe to shake the boyish thing for the next few years because of one biological fact — he’s fairly short. The shortest big-name actor of all time, I believe, is/was Mickey Rooney, who was 5’3″ in his prime. Almost as pint-sized was Alan Ladd at 5’5″. Dustin Hoffman is 5′ 6 and 3/4″. Radcliffe is taller than all three at 5′ 7″, but he still seems a runt.