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THE ELEPHANT MAN at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

June 9, 2015

THE ELEPHANT MAN at the Theatre Royal Haymarket is the hot ticket this summer direct from Broadway. Bradley Cooper gives an exceptional performance as John Merrick. First we hear him behind a curtain at a side show, then we see him contort himself with the deformities and then he moves. First with sound, then with sight and then with physical movement he builds a powerful empathy of the reality which commands our attention. I really felt for John Merrick and I was touched by his isolation caused by the cruel reaction of people to difference.

However the true power of this play is the story of how the compassion of just one or two people can make such a difference to a life. Alessandro Nivola plays Dr Frederick Treves who rescues John Merrick and provides him with a home. His is a powerful performance full of interesting conflicts and contrasts. It is hard to express how much I thought of Patricia Clarkson who plays Mrs Kendal. Her performance is supreme and is the personification of tenderness. Anthony Heald is also excellent as Merrick’s sinister former keeper and the Bishop.

This is a stripped back production that through clever design always places the performances centre stage. A clever use of curtains takes us from scene to scene without ever really leaving the side show. Not to be missed if you can afford the inflated ticket prices.

Elephant Man, The Booth Theatre Cast List: Bradley Cooper Patricia Clarkson Alessandro Nivola Anthony Heald Scott Lowell Kathryn Meisle Henry Stram Chris Bannow Peter Bradbury Lucas Calhoun Eric Clem Amanda Lea Mason Marguerite Stimpson Emma Thorne Production Credits: Scott Ellis (Direction) Timothy R. Mackabee (Scenic and Projection Design) Clint Ramos (Costume Design) Philip S. Rosenberg (Lighting Design) John Gromada (Original Music and Sound Design) Other Credits: Written by: Bernard Pomerance

Elephant Man, The
Booth Theatre
Cast List:
Bradley Cooper
Patricia Clarkson
Alessandro Nivola
Anthony Heald
Scott Lowell
Kathryn Meisle
Henry Stram
Chris Bannow
Peter Bradbury
Lucas Calhoun
Eric Clem
Amanda Lea Mason
Marguerite Stimpson
Emma Thorne
Production Credits:
Scott Ellis (Direction)
Timothy R. Mackabee (Scenic and Projection Design)
Clint Ramos (Costume Design)
Philip S. Rosenberg (Lighting Design)
John Gromada (Original Music and Sound Design)
Other Credits:
Written by: Bernard Pomerance

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