Entertainment & Arts

Bradley Cooper to bring Elephant Man to London stage

Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man Image copyright Joan Marcus
Image caption Cooper has said watching the film of The Elephant Man "solidified [his] need to become an actor"

Three-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper is to play the Elephant Man in London following the critical acclaim he has received for the role on Broadway.

The Hangover star will portray the physically deformed Joseph Merrick, whose true-life story inspired David Lynch's Bafta-winning 1980 film.

Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola also appear in the play, which runs in New York until 21 February.

It will then transfer to London for a limited season, beginning on 19 May.

Cooper, 40, has been lauded by US critics for his performance in Bernard Pomerance's play, which was first staged in London in 1977.

The actor, who was Oscar-nominated this month for his role in American Sniper, told the Daily Mail he was "bringing [Merrick] home".

Image copyright Joan Marcus
Image caption The production was first staged at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts in 2012

Rather than using prosthetics, as Sir John Hurt did in Lynch's film, Cooper contorts his body on stage in order to evoke Merrick's multiple physical deformities.

"Every night I say goodbye to myself and I let him in," the actor told the Mail's Baz Bamigboye.

Cooper was previously Oscar-nominated for his roles in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle before receiving a third nomination this year, for playing a US military sharp-shooter in American Sniper.

Directed by Scott Ellis, The Elephant Man will play at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until 8 August.

Another American actor making his West End debut this spring is former Roseanne star John Goodman, who will be appearing alongside Damien Lewis in American Buffalo.

Britain's Tom Sturridge completes the cast in David Mamet's tale of three small-time criminals planning a heist, which runs at the Wyndham's Theatre from 16 April to 27 June.

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