Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe received a standing ovation yesterday on the opening night of his theatrical debut.

Critics and fellow actors have also rushed to praise the wizard actor for his role in the Peter Shaffer play Equus at the Gielgud theatre.

The 17-year-old actor appears as troubled teenager Alan Strang, who has an erotic and destructive relationship with horses.

More than just a few eyebrows were raised when it emerged that he would appear naked on stage during a sex scene.

In his review for the Daily Telegraph, Charles Spencer wrote that Radcliffe "brilliantly succeeds in throwing off the mantle of Harry Potter" and has announced himself as "a thrilling stage actor of unexpected range and depth".

Benedict Nightingale added in the Times that Radcliffe "proves an assured actor".

Fellow film and theatre actor Christian Slater could not praise the young star enough, saying after the show: "The work that Daniel did on stage was incredible, extraordinary. I take my hat off to him completely.

"He became Alan Strang. I never thought for one second I was looking at Daniel Radcliffe - I was watching Alan Strang.

"I'm remarkably impressed. I think he was brave, adventurous and courageous, he's a phenomenon and I would certainly love to work with him."

Also starring in the play are fellow Harry Potter actor Richard Griffiths and Jenny Agutter.

28/02/2007 12:28:27