He changed people... for the better | Kingston Grand Theatre

He changed people... for the better

Sep 22nd, 2015 - 3:12PM /
Stuart Payne
spayne [at] sl.on.ca

Dramatic Impact presents

by Bernard Pomerance*
November 10-14

Bernard Pomerance’s play “The Elephant Man” is a blend of fiction and reality. Based on the life of Joseph Merrick, a horribly disfigured man in England of the 1880’s, this fictionalized version of Merrick’s life balances the reality of his life experiences within the context of London of that time period. The play is an exercise in expressing how important tolerance and compassion are to any given society.

At first the audience sees Merrick being hounded and beaten, shunned by everyone around him due to his physical defects. As the play develops, the audience discovers, as did the people of Victorian England that underneath the hideous deformities laid a man of great intellect, compassion, and generosity of spirit. He became well known in all circles of Victorian society, from the common man to the Royal family. With his untimely death, England lost a truly remarkable man who influenced the thinking of an entire generation. He moved people forward from fear and revulsion, to acceptance and understanding. He changed people, for the better.

Dramatic Impact has accepted the challenges of giving this play a new look, one that will introduce the character of Joseph Merrick to a new generation of theatregoers. The cast is comprised of some of Kingston’s most accomplished community-based actors.  The production is being designed and directed by Stuart Payne, who is well known in Kingston for bring richly textured productions that touch the mind and heart of theatre goers.

The central message of this remarkable work is that a just society is a society that doesn’t judge, doesn’t blame, but reaches out and welcomes everyone. The play and the production by Dramatic Impact speak to all of us desire to move our society forward, free of prejudice, hate and fear for those who are different.

“The Elephant Man” is an evening of profound and life enriching theatre. Tickets are now available.

*by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.