I was so happy to finally see this as I was planning to see it on Broadway originally, but then decided I'd wait until it came to the West End. There have been so many times where I have said "OK, I'm going to see The Elephant Man today" and then never got round to it. I was not disappointed as this was a rather interesting play. It is based on the real life of Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man and tells the story of a 19th-century British man who became a star of the traveling freak show circuit. When the renowned Dr Treves takes Merrick under his care, he is astonished by the man’s brilliant intelligence, unshakable faith and, most of all, his resounding desire for love and understanding. He introduces Merrick to the beautiful actress Mrs. Kendal, who is deeply touched by this pure and genuine soul. As a complex friendship blossoms among the three, Treves and Kendal struggle to protect Merrick from a world of questionable intentions. It was a very emotional play that showed us how cruel life can be for disabled people. The cast were amazing, but some I distinctly remember are Bradley Cooper as John Merrick, Patricia Clarkson as Mrs. Kendal, Alessandro Nivola as Dr. Frederick Treves and Anthony Heald as Ross and Bishop How. It was very clever that Bradley Cooper, instead of using prosthetic make-up, used his body to show the disfigurement of John Merrick. The English accents of the cast were incredible and I salute their dialect coach because he/she has really done wonders. It was a great show, however there are a few things that could be changed. I was sitting in the upper-circle and sometimes found it quite hard to hear Alessandro as there seemed to be a lot of his lines that he mumbled. He just didn't seem to have a good stage presence. Bradley and Patricia were really clear with everything they said so this could be something Alessandro needs to work on. I also feel they could add a little bit more of depth and excitement with some of the scenes as I think that a few of the scenes got a bit tedious. Apart from that this was a fascinating play and I am very surprised Skylight beat it winning the 'Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.'
The featured star of The Elephant Man is, drum roll please… BRADLEY COOPER!
Bradley portrayed this role so cleverly and really made the audience feel sorry for his character, John Merrick. I am sad he didn't win a Tony for his role, but hopefully he will win an Olivier award for this role.
Now for my final verdict on The Elephant Man. I give The Elephant Man…
I recommend any Bradley Cooper fan to run and see this show as I know any BC fan will love this show.
Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.
Join me next time when I will be reviewing Memphis.
Thanks for reading!
*Please note this show has now closed.