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Out & About: The Elephant Man

MEDFORD, Ore. — In a world that tends to pass judgement on outward appearance, we all too often fail to look beyond the surface. The Randall Theatre’s newest production of “The Elephant Man” asks us to do just that.

The play is based on the true story of Joseph Merrick who lived in Victorian-era England. In this adaptation, John Merrick, played by Peter Wycliffe, is an intelligent and friendly man afflicted with a rare condition that causes physical deformities. As a result, he is shunned by society. He is rescued and befriended by a doctor who arranges for him to live out his days in a hospital. He soon becomes the toast of London society, and those who dare to look beyond his appearance find they are touched by the beauty of his spirit.

Wycliffe portrays the character without benefit of specialized make-up or appliances. He instead manipulates his own body and facial features to create the illusion of the deformities. The Elephant Man plays at the Randall Theatre of Medford through April 7th. Contact the Randall for ticket information.