Sep 1, 2017
Curtain Call Theatre proudly presents its current production of this fine play with another distinguished cast, a hallmark of CCT.
The Elephant Man was suggested by the life of John Merrick, known as The Elephant Man. It is recounted by Sir Fredrick Treves in The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences, published originally in 1923.
Bernard Pomerance’s own knowledge of the subject came via his brother Michael, who told him the story, provided him with xeroxes of Treves’ memoirs until he came to his own copy, and sent him Ashley Montague’s reprinted account of Treves’ in The Elephant Man, A Study in Human Dignity. The book included photographs of Merrick as well as of Merrick’s model for St. Phillip’s Church.
Merrick’s face was so deformed he could not express any emotion at all. His speech was very difficult to understand without practice by the listener.
At the request of the author, we have not attempted to reproduce Merrick’s appearance or speech realistically. The author felt (and we agree) that this would prove counterproductive and would be more a distraction from the play than an enhancement. Hence the screen projections would suffice to give the audience an impressionistic vision of the character and concentrate on his humanity at the same time.
The play concentrates on the man’s experiences, his wit, his humor, and his sense of self, which he discovered after his life changed and he became an actual celebrity of his time. Full of colorful characters and much impressions of Victorian England, this production tries to offer you an honest view of another time, another world.
We invite you to take the journey back to a time and place, not unlike ours, where morbid curiosity and inhumane treatment of those that don’t appear to fit in the accepted norm was common practice. We urge you to open your minds and hearts and look deep inside yourselves for your own humanity and strength of character that make you exceptions to the rule.