Wren Theatre’s first fully staged production, The Elephant Man, is up and running at The Attic Studio & Theatre. Bernard Pomerance’s dark tale of the real-life Joseph Merrick, a.k.a. “The Elephant Man,” is a phenomenal piece of theatre which you won’t want to miss. Produced by Rhyno Equity Group and directed by Tatum Lee, you want to make sure you catch this production while you can.
The Elephant Man details the experiences of Joseph Merrick who used to “perform” as a side-show display in Victorian London. He is taken in by a Doctor who wishes to help him, and actually becomes quite the society man before his untimely passing. At its heart, The Elephant Man asks us to look past the things that differentiate us to the things that make us similar; throughout the play, the various characters find a mirror in Merrick, seeing their favourite qualities reflected in him. Yet in this, they are able to make him feel viewed in a positive way, seen rather than gawked at, a part of a community.
This production certainly made full use of The Attic Studio’s space; using partitions and curtains to create rooms and spaces, I found that I always had a good sense of where I was supposed to be. I especially loved the collapsible bathtub they used during the show (seen in the header photo); it was brilliant in its simplicity. Along with the delightfully Victorian costumes complete with bustles, hoops, and three-piece suits, The Elephant Man’s overall design is splendid.
The cast of The Elephant Man is a wonderful ensemble skillfully directed by Tatum Lee. Jordan Imray gives an incredible performance as Joseph Merrick; transforming into Merrick right before our eyes, Imray’s physicality throughout the show was impeccable. Robert Notman and Aaron Katz are excellent in their roles of Dr. Treves and Carr Gomm respectively; they deftly inhabit these complicated and fascinating characters. John Marcucci and Vikki Velenosi’s characters add a healthy dose of lightness and laughter to the production, and they both deliver great performances. Karen Scobie’s performance as Mrs. Kendal is beautiful, embracing the compassion and humanity of the character. Devin Bell and Dash Grundy round out this incredible cast with delightful performances of several characters each, certainly no small feat!
There’s only one weekend left to see The Elephant Man and I highly recommend you nab yourself a ticket. This moving, thought-provoking play is not to be missed! For more information and tickets, visit: https://www.wrentheatre.com/elephantman