The script is based upon the life of Joseph Merrick, a man so physically deformed that he became known as the “Elephant Man.” With very few options open to him, Merrick (whose first name is John in Pomerance’s play) is forced to display himself to the public in travelling sideshows. Eventually, however, he finds himself alone and destitute in London. Due to the kindness of one Dr. Frederick Treves, Merrick is soon admitted into the London Hospital for care and observation. Treves becomes determined to help Merrick lead a normal life, and Merrick soon becomes the toast of society. In the end however, John Merrick, The Elephant Man, finds that normality isn’t something he can achieve, or that he even necessarily wants.
The Elephant Man guide sections