Cast members of the Mason Players production ‘The Elephant Man,’ which continues this weekend with shows Thursday through Sunday. Photo by Billy Tidwell.

Bernard Pomerance’s 1979 tragedy, “The Elephant Man,” is based on the true story of John Merrick. Merrick is a young man living in 1860s London who suffered from a congenital disease which caused his body to be greatly deformed.

For their second main stage production of the 2010–11 year, the Mason Players shine once again in their artistic portrayal of the tragic events of Merrick’s life.

This time, the story is set as a steampunk rendition of late 19th century London and the atmosphere is created with skill. The costumes feature machine parts, which separate the other characters from Merrick in much the way Pomerance originally envisioned the actor playing Merrick to stand out.

It would be an understatement to say that Joshua McCreary, the actor who plays Merrick, stands out.

As the focal point of the production, he portrays the character’s grief with such conviction that it’s hard not to empathize. Michael Burgos plays Frederick Treves, Merrick’s primary care-giver, and delivers a consistently fantastic performance throughout the show. The two are backed by a talented ensemble of actors that continue the Players’ tradition of excellent performances.

This production features one of the best soundtracks of any recent production at Mason, featuring songs by Jimmy Hendrix and Imogen Heap performed on stage by the talented actors. The sights and sounds successfully immerse the audience by maintaining its mood and also its contemporary message.
“The Elephant Man” carries a strong message about the flaws in all of us, whether physical or not.

The Players put on another compelling and moving performance which is sure to thrill and entertain. There is one more weekend of the production with shows Thursday through Sunday afternoon. This is certainly not an event to miss.