The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man

Malthouse Theatre The Elephant ManFollowing the success of Picnic at Hanging Rock, director Matthew Lutton and writer Tom Wright reunite for an adaptation of The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man, based on the real life story of Joseph Merrick.

Joseph Merrick, better known as the Elephant Man, is cast out. He survived circus ‘freak shows’ and the revulsion of a gawking public before a young doctor offered him asylum at the London Hospital in 1879.

Weaving through a carnival of hospitals, the circus and the public arena, The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man is a profoundly moving story that interrogates our capacity for countering hate with hope, and the radical power of compassion.

The role of Joseph Merrick will be played by Daniel Monks, and Paula Arundell, Julie Forsyth, Emma J Hawkins and Sophie Ross will form the ensemble of characters that Merrick encounters throughout his life.

This is Daniel Monks’ Malthouse Theatre debut and he joins the production as an acclaimed actor, dancer and filmmaker. Monks recently wrote and starred in Pulse, the centrepiece of this year’s Melbourne Queer Film Festival, which was also screened as a part of Sydney Film Festival’s Screenability program, featuring work by filmmakers with a disability.

“Joseph Merrick has been a role that I have dreamt of playing for many years, and I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to be given this opportunity,” says Daniel Monks. “As a young disabled person, Joseph and his story had a huge impact on me, as I know he has had on many others, and I feel honoured to be part of sharing his powerful story with new audiences.”

Director: Matthew Lutton Featuring: Paula Arundell, Julie Forsyth, Emma J Hawkins, Daniel Monks, Sophie Ross Set & Costume Design: Marg Horwell Lighting Design: Paul Jackson Composition & Sound Design: Jethro Woodward

The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man
Merlyn Theatre – The Coopers Malthouse, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Season: 9 – 27 August 2017 (previews: 4 – 8 August)
Information and Bookings:

Image: The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man – photo by Zan Wimberley