Brent Carver Is The Elephant Man in Toronto Oct. 8-Nov. 3

News   Brent Carver Is The Elephant Man in Toronto Oct. 8-Nov. 3
Acclaimed director Robin Phillips' new production of Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man, beginning Oct. 8 at Canadian Stage Company in Toronto, stars Tony Award winner Brent Carver as the deformed Victorian celebrity John Merrick.
Brent Carver
Brent Carver

The staging re-lights the Bluma Appel stage after a $3 million renovation. Official opening is Oct. 11 for a run through Nov. 3.


In addition to Kiss of the Spider Woman star Carver, the production also features Geraint Wyn-Davies as Dr. Frederick Treves and Kate Trotter as Mrs. Kendal.

According to Canadian Stage, "The Elephant Man chronicles the real-life story of John Merrick who lived during the Victorian era. Abandoned as a child and shunned by society, the grotesquely deformed Merrick survives as a side-show attraction until a gifted young doctor rescues him from life on the streets. Under the care of Dr. Frederick Treves, who educates Merrick and introduces him to London high society, the so-called 'Elephant Man' transforms from a sensational object of pity to the celebrity darling of the rich and famous."

The Elephant Man made its Broadway debut in 1979 and won the Tony for Best Play. The Canadian Stage Company cast also boasts Barry MacGregor, Michael Spencer-Davis, Michelle Fisk, David Kirby, Aaron Forward and "Queer as Folk" vet Jack Wetherall (who starred in the title role in the original Broadway production).

The creative team includes costume designer Sue LePage, lighting designer Louise Guinand, with original music by Laura Burton and sound design by John Lott. Sherri Catt is assistant set designer, and Mary Spyrakis is assistant props designer. Emily Cooper is stage manager, and Isaac Thomas is assistant stage manager.

Brent Carver was recently seen in the Toronto stage spectacle The Lord of the Rings, in which he played Gandalf. He snagged a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for Kiss of the Spider Woman, and was nominated for his work in Broadway's Parade. Considered a treasure in Canadian theatre, he also has a long history playing classic roles at the Stratford Festival.

Phillips is respected for his direction of classic and contemporary plays around the globe (including at the Stratford Festival in Ontario) and staged Broadway's Jekyll & Hyde.

For tickets and information, contact (416) 368-3110 or visit


Over the summer, the St. Lawrence Centre, including the Bluma Appel Theatre, the company's main stage (27 Front Street East) underwent a $3 million facelift funded by a partnership between the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts and the City of Toronto.

Renovations began in June 2007 and will be completed by the end of September. "Substantial improvements will be seen throughout the theatre's interior, including the auditorium, box office, bars, lobbies and the Ernest Balmer Lounge," according to the troupe.

The Canadian Stage Company's artistic producer is Martin Bragg. This is the troupe's 20th anniversary.

Canadian Stage Company is Canada's largest not-for-profit, contemporary theatre company committed to presenting the best in Canadian and international drama, comedy and musical theatre year-round. The company has four performance venues: the Bluma Appel Theatre (876-seats), The Berkeley Street Theatres (the 244-seat Downstairs Theatre and 168-seat Upstairs Theatre), and the Dream in High Park, an outdoor amphitheatre featuring Shakespearean classics each summer.

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