Booth Theatre, Broadway
Theatre Royal Haymarket, West End
by Bernard Pomerance
Scott Ellis, dir.
Phillip Rosenberg, lights
Clint Ramos, clothes
John Gromada, sound
Additional Photos by Joan Marcus
Ben Brantley, The New York Times
"Designed by Timothy R. Mackabee, Mr. Ellis's "The Elephant Man" makes discreetly poetic use of sliding curtains to echo imagery about illusion and concealment. The staging doesn't hit you over the head with implicit metaphors or sermonizing, which is just as well, since the script sometimes does."
Marilyn Stasio, Variety
"Timothy R. Mackabee’s stylized set pieces and Philip S. Rosenberg’s
expressive lighting design keep reminding us that, like beauty and ugliness, reality is all in the eye of the beholder. Merrick looks like whatever people need him to look like in order to see their own reflections mirrored back at them. So, along with the dance-like movements of the chorus figures, all those curtains and mirrors and artificial lighting effects serve the playwright’s intention of revealing us to ourselves."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
"Ellis punctuates the play with interludes of procession-like formality on designer Timothy R. Mackabee's austere set. He embeds the stiff repression of the age into the measured entrances and exits, and uses curtains as a visual motif to underscore the themes of display and concealment. Philip S. Rosenberg's lighting meticulously defines moments of exposure or isolation; sound designer John Gromada's music adds melancholy texture; and Clint Ramos' costumes are highly effective, from the cruel hood and massive cloak that hide Merrick in the beginning to his tailored finery later on. Mrs. Kendal's beautiful gowns are a spectacle in themselves."
Tom Teodorczuk, The Independent
"Timothy Mackabee’s stylishly sombre set amplifies the disparity between Victorian mores and Merrick’s doomed quest for normality."
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press
"This two-hour revival, performed at a crisp pace, has been made handsome thanks to Timothy R. Mackabee's set design that leans on the ingenious use of multiple curtains — echoing doctor's office curtains that conceal and reveal in a flash — and Philip S. Rosenberg's moody and complex lighting work, which ranges from harsh overhead spotlights when Merrick craves dark corners, to the golden, genteel lighting of upper society."
Matthew Murray, Talkin' Broadway
"Timothy R. Mackabee’s set and Philip S. Rosenberg’s lighting, replete with dusty curtains and unforgiving illumination, fuse the play’s natural Brechtian undertones with a strong medical–freak show vibe, making the story at once timely and timeless, as well as theatrical and personal. (Clint Ramos designed the fine costumes.) And with swift pacing and an estimable cast that also includes Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson, the production hits all the marks, and does so accurately and smartly."