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Nottingham Playhouse presents

The Real and Imagined History of The Elephant Man

Written by Tom Wright

Thurs 26 to Sat 28 Oct 2023

If you think you know the story of The Elephant Man - think again.

The European premiere of Australian playwright Tom Wright’s acclaimed play imagines an alternative. This is the story of a man fighting for his right to be and to belong.

Arriving from his East Midlands beginnings in a London thick with the grime of industrialisation, Joseph Merrick is an anomaly. In a city of factories that churn out uniformity, there is no place for a unique being like him. But Merrick and the city are evolving into something new. We follow him through the workhouse, the freakshow and hospital as he searches for acceptance in a society that just wants to stare at him.

Powerful, angry and surprising – The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man questions industrialisation, capitalism, disability and difference, finally putting Joseph at the centre of his own story.

Every performance of The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man is presented in a relaxed environment, which means that audience members are able to exit and re-enter the auditorium during the performance if they need to and there is a relaxed attitude to noise so that audience members can respond to the show in whatever way feels natural. Please note that these are not fully relaxed performances and house lights may be dimmed in the auditorium.

All performances will also have integrated Captioning and Audio Description.

A touch tour will be held at 6pm on Weds 25 Oct. Please call the Box Office on 024 7655 3055 to book a place.

The show features loud music. Please ask a member of our Front of House Team for ear defenders if you need them. The show also features theatrical smoke and haze.

Director Stephen Bailey is the winner of The RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2022. Zak Ford-Williams’ previous work includes Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol (Nottingham Playhouse) and BBC1 drama Better.

Supported with a grant from the Royal Theatrical Support Trust.