Midi Company Offers Compassionate Take on Elephant Man Story

Photo: Midi Company


Unlike David Lynch’s powerfully gripping 1980 film about the tragic life of the severely deformed 19th century man Joseph Merrick, which focused on Merrick’s cruel rejection by London society, the Franco-Mexican theatrical group Midi Company’s modern-day interpretation of “The Elephant Man” — which premiered at the National Center for the Arts (Cenart) on Friday, Feb. 17 — is a hymn to love, a moving portrait of humanity in all its forms and all its differences.

More a Beauty-and-the-Beast-style tale than a brazen exposé of man’s inhumanity to man or a perverse exploitation of the bazaar as macabre allure, the Midi Company’s revised version of the story of Merrick transforms the tragedy of the so-called Elephant Man into a fascinatingly uplifting — albeit sometimes heartbreaking — story of love and compassion.

Under the sensitive direction of the Midi Company’s Antoine Chalard, the small cast –composed of Gabriela Betancourt, Florent Malburet, Leopoldo Bernal, Esperanza Penagos and Chalard himself — presents both Merrick and his mentor Frederick Treves as two men who develop a deep and meaningful relationship and mutual understanding.

Founded in 2002, the Midi Company has performed in both Mexico and France, as well as in Spain, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, China, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, French Guyana and Reunion Island.

“The Elephant Man” will be preformed at the Cenart’s Teatro de las Artes, every Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., every Saturday at 7 p.m. and every Sunday at 6 p.m. through Sunday, March 5.

Cenart is located at Avenida Río Churubusco 79 in Mexico City’s Colonia Country Club in Coyoacán.

All tickets are 150 pesos and are available through the Ticketmaster system and at the Cenart box office.

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