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Ended 9 Aug 2015 after 2 months

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Strictly Limited Run

"His [Cooper's] performance is staggering in its physical discipline, its piercing emotional transparency and, most surprisingly, its restraint."

The Hollywood Reporter

Closed 9 Aug 2015


Set in the late 19th Century, Bradley Cooper stars in this powerful drama about the extraordinary story of Joseph Merrick - a severely disfigured man who is taken in by the circus to form part of their travelling 'freak show.' This new revival of Bernard Pomerance's play, which premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2012 and enjoyed a critically successful run on Broadway last winter, follows Merrick's trials as he attempts to live a life with dignity, and struggle to be seen as more than just a form of entertainment.


The play traces the strange life of one Joseph Merrick, 1862 - 1890. His sheer survival was a marvel, as his whole body was stricken with a rare and extreme swelling disorder that left him severerly deformed from childhood.

He left home at 17, after being rejected by his father and stepmother, and entered the workhouse. Uncertain of his future, he wrote to a showman, Sam Torr and became a sideshow exhibit, earning the ephitet The Elephant Man. Life on the road was tough for Merrick and he eventually ended up in poverty, before being taken in by a doctor by the name of Frederick Treves.

Over the last four years of Merrick's life, Treves devoted himself to his care and studying his disease. The two men form a strong bond during this time, yet questions remain about how much Treves cared for Merrick and to what degree he was using him to advance his own career.

Cooper presents a unique portrait of Merrick, using physicality rather than make-up or special effects to bring 'The Elephant Man' to life once more in this powerful play that has had audiences raving on Broadway. Don't miss your chance to see this world-class performance on our very own West End.

Additional Information


Opening night: 19 May 2015

Closing night: 9 August 2015


May not be suitable for younger audiences

Run time

One hour and 55 minutes, including one interval.

And before you stop reading

Please note, images used are from the recent New York production of this play. With the exception of Mr. Cooper, additional casting is subject to change and will be announced at a later date.


An Exceptional Show of Finely Crafted Acting

Hollywood star power is always a tricky beast to manage at the best of times, but the warm intimate space of the Theatre Royal leaves no room for an A-list ego. more »

What You Say

1 reviews, average rating: (5.0 Stars)

Jack Walker: “Absolutely Incredible!”

Let me start off by saying Bradley Cooper deserves an award for his role in... more

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Please note: The term Theatre Royal Haymarket and/or The Elephant Man as well as all associated graphics, logos, and/or other tradermarks, tradenames or copyrights are the property of the Theatre Royal Haymarket and/or The Elephant Man and are used herein for factual descriptive purposes only. We are in no way associated with or authorized by the Theatre Royal Haymarket and/or The Elephant Man and neither that entity nor any of its affiliates have licensed or endorsed us to sell tickets, goods and or services in conjunction with their events.

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