Fraught with mind-games and verbal tugs-of-war, the UK premiere of Canadian play The Elephant Song sets a hospital director against a patient to find a missing psychiatrist.
Against the advice of his colleagues, Dr Greenberg is determined to question Michael and ends up in a turbulent power struggle, trying to find the truth in Michael’s stories of elephants and opera, his distant mother, his forced stay, and his sexuality. As Michael tries to barter the truth for his freedom, he leads the director along with hints of relationships with his psychiatrist and the head nurse, with this game of cat-and-mouse leading to devastating consequences.
Producer Ian Nicholas said: “I first became aware of The Elephant Song when I saw the movie. I loved the story and researched the play it was based on. I brought it to Jason’s attention, knowing this is the sort of work he loves to direct and after a few months of digging, I was able to obtain the rights for us to do it. We have always wanted to work at Park Theatre, so I forwarded the play directly to Jez Bond, artistic director at Park and fortunately he liked the play too. And thus a UK premiere is born…”
OnBook Theatre was founded by partners Jason Moore and Ian Nicholas to produce quality productions by established and new playwrights. Their previous productions have included Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage (OSO Arts Centre), Joe Penhall’s Landscape with Weapon (Cockpit Theatre), and their future productions include Neil Simon’s California Suite (OSO Arts Centre).
Nicolas Billon is a Canadian playwright, winner of several awards in Canada for stage and screenwriting. The Elephant Song premiered at Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario in 2004, and the film adaptation was awarded the Canadian Screen Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2015.
The Elephant Song is at Park Theatre 18 January – 11 February 2023.