The Elephant Man is based on a true story of the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the latter part of the nineteenth century. Born with the genetic disorder Proteus syndrome, which caused extreme deformities to his body, Merrick was reviled by all.
He becomes an attraction in travelling ‘freak’ shows but when the renowned Dr Treves sees him during one of his performances, Merrick is taken into his care at the London Hospital Whitechapel. Here the legend of the Elephant Man begins to grow and he is introduced to London society.
The award winning play challenges perceptions of difference and aesthetics while exploring the complex friendship between Merrick and Dr Treves, who is torn between a desire to help Merrick experience life and the cruelties that are inflicted in order to protect him.