The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man, a new Australian adaptation the story of Joseph Merrick’s life opened last night at the Malthouse in Melbourne.

Today the first of many spellbound reviewers have summarised their night in the theatre:

“Merrick’s life can often seem more about us than him, and Tom Wright’s brilliant, lyrical reimagining, breathtakingly directed by Matt Lutton, finds a fresh centre of balance…Marg Horwell’s design and costume and Paul Jackson’s painterly lighting, together create an alternate Victorian London – thick with pea-soupers but constrained by stricture and fashion.

Casting Monks, himself an actor with disability, is a masterstroke, combining reality and simulation. But the sheer histrionic ability – childlike and innocent, desperate, wounded; and then swelling into a luminous magnanimity that turns the tables on everyone – is staggering.”

 

Read more here.