This Bernard Pomerance play is based on the life of Joseph Merrick, who lived in the Victorian Era and is known for the extreme deformity of his body. The play calls for no prosthetic make up for the actor portraying Merrick, and is conveyed instead through the actor’s physicality which allows for the audience to imagine his appearance.
The story traces his life from performing in a freak show to becoming the darling of Victorian high society when he is rescued by the London surgeon Frederick Treves, only to be denied his ultimate dream – to become a man like any other.
Sardines Review: 28 Feb 2020
"Of the several accounts I’ve seen of the story of John Merrick over the years, Bernard Pomerance’s 1977 play is certainly the most thoughtful. It’s in good hands with director Peter Watts and Artform too...There is a magnificent central performance from Matthew Westrip as Merrick...Shane King (looking like a young Arthur Sullivan in this role) is a very creditable Treves – initially just a decent young doctor and later a conflicted, troubled man trying to come to terms with his situation.Also noteworthy are Robin Kelly’s strikingly convincing performance as Treves’s boss and Kim Pappas as Mrs Kendall, the actress who becomes Merrick’s friend."
Directed by Pete Watts, who directed Artform's 'Blood Brothers' and 'The Diary of Anne Frank' with Paul Stone as Assistant Director.
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