Review: The Elephant Man, Diss Corn Hall

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The Quaysiders

The Elephant Man is as much a part of the 1880s as Sherlock Holmes, Jekyll and Hyde and Jack the Ripper.

In Bernard Pomerance’s play the actor does not don hideous make-up as in the film; but acts as though he is deformed.

This draws a remarkably good performance from young Nathaniel Dyer. He somehow conveys the notion of being ugly and twisted, while still being gentle, sensitive and intelligent.

His unlikely bonding with surgeon Frederick Treves, works because of the confident portrayal by Andy Wilsher.

Grant Bartlett gives a rascally charm to the man who exhibits the Elephant Man as a freak.

Erin Girling brings equal charm to the role of actress Mrs Kendall who shows him what he is missing.

There are many telling moments and cameos, not least from Keshar Whitelock as a nurse and as Princess Alexandra.

An atmospheric set by Colin Dyer and cello music by Debs Whomes also feature in Marion Small’s and Des Reynolds’ production.

BASIL ABBOTT