Actors take on true tragic tale

Cast preparing for the Elephant Man at Chorley Little Theatre

Cast preparing for the Elephant Man at Chorley Little Theatre

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A new CADOS play, The Elephant Man, is taking shape at Chorley Little Theatre, ready for opening on October 22.

Based on the true story of John Merrick, who was born with a disease that affected his appearance, it’s about how he both repulsed and fascinated the population of Victorian London.

Director David Reid said: “In this play, Merrick appears to be the normal person and it’s the rest of society that is deformed either through morals or behaviour.”

Written before the famous film, Bernard Pomerance’s play originally starred David Bowie and here Robert Swift takes the title role.

David said: “I see Merrick as an innocent, and so we’re portraying him in a neutral and non-deformed way.”

Martin Clarke stars as the sympathetic surgeon Frederick Treves, with the rest of the cast working hard to bring London to life, often doubling their roles in what is a very physical and inventive production.

Reid, who has starred in CADOS shows Great Expectations and Amadeus, and teaches higher education drama in Preston, said: “The play is about how some people are put on display as if in a freak show, with resonance even for society today.”

This is the first time CADOS has staged The Elephant Man and David hopes audiences discovering something new will be moved by the tragic story and given food for thought. The play runs from October 22 to October 27 at 7.30pm every night.

Tickets are £6 for shows Monday to Wednesday, and £8 for shows Thursday to Saturday.

Tickets are available from Malcolm’s Musicland on Chapel Street, by calling 01257 264362, or by visiting www.chorley
theatre.com

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