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Petitgirard
Elephant Man
English
Introduction
Act 1
Act 2
Act 3
Act 4
French
Introduction
Act 1
Act 2
Act 3
Act 4

ACT II
London Hospital - interior
Two years later

6 ORCHESTRAL PRELUDE
(linked to Scene 1)

7 Scene 1
(Dr. Treves, Elephant Man, Eva Lückes)

Eva Lückes enters alone.
She keeps a lookout for the arrival of Dr. Treves and Elephant Man, who are still in the wings.

EVA LÜCKES
(alone, to herself)
My God!
Mr. Merrick!
My God!

Enter Dr. Treves and Elephant Man, the latter with his cape, hood, hat,
his 'fairground', 'exhibition', 'fat aristocrat' trousers.
Elephant Man walks very slowly, and limps.
He is exhausted, worn out.

EVA LÜCKES
Mr. Merrick!

TREVES
Yes… Miss Lückes,
Mr. Merrick.

Elephant Man balances one leg on the other.
He cannot stand upright without moving, without balancing his right leg
on his slightly bent left leg. Treves is moved by what he has just experienced
in meeting Elephant Man at Liverpool Street Station.
He is conscious of the responsibility he has taken on, the responsibility for this man,
this monster.

TREVES
Is there a private room for us?
It's for Mr. Merrick.

EVA LÜCKES
There isn't a single bed available in the hospital.
Treves looks at Eva Lückes.
There are patients in the corridors!
I can only suggest the isolation room.

TREVES
That will be fine, Miss Lückes.
Treves looks at Elephant Man who is swaying.

TREVES
(well articulated, syllabic phrasing)
MR. MERRICK,
YOU ARE GOING TO REST, MR. MERRICK,
WE SHALL MEET TOMORROW.
THE NURSES WILL LOOK AFTER YOU.

Elephant Man is still swaying.
His deformed right hand is trembling nervously, and strikes his thigh.
It trembles as though it had Parkinson's disease.

TREVES
MR. MERRICK!
Treves does not really seem to expect an answer.

MR. MERRICK!
Treves looks at Elephant Man.
Eva Lückes approaches Treves and Elephant Man.
Vehement reaction from Elephant Man.
Merrick is like a terrorised animal.

TREVES
MR. MERRICK,
YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR HERE.
WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AFTER YOU.
(to Eva Lückes)
He needs some peace and quiet.
No mirror in his room, please.

HEAD NURSE
Yes, sir.

TREVES
I only want nurses who have volunteered
To look after Mr. Merrick!

EVA LÜCKES
Yes, sir.

Pause. Treves muses.

EVA LÜCKES
What should I write
in the admissions book ?

TREVES
Nothing!
Absolutely nothing!

Treves looks at Elephant Man and finds him asleep.
Elephant Man sleeps exhausted, as he had slept in the carriage bringing him to the hospital.

TREVES
You see, Miss Lückes,
It doesn't last long.
An attraction, a curiosity,
For all these artistes, all these showmen.
A year…
Hardly a year is all it took
For this man to end up alone, abandoned,
In a third-class waiting room
Liverpool Street Station… end of the line…
Today I was given a man,
A man for a visiting card!
That's our society,
A society of progress, of profit…
You will see,
One day, Miss Lückes,
The wretched will no longer be anything,
Nothing!
They won't even be humans.
They will only be the cost they occasion us.

Treves looks at Elephant Man.
Pause.

TREVES
(gently)
Mr. Merrick!
Mr. Merrick!
On your feet!
On your feet!

Elephant Man rises. Eva Lückes goes up to him. Exit Treves.

 

8 Scene 2
(Elephant Man, Eva Lückes, Mary)

Eva Lückes removes Elephant Man's hat and hood.
We see his face. Eva Lückes washes, then dries Elephant Man with a cloth, as one would wash someone who has a fever. She wipes his face, his hands.
Then she washes under his clothes, carefully, with reticence, Victorian reticence.
Elephant Man, exhausted, lets her get on with it.
Exit Eva Lückes with Elephant Man's cape, hood and hat.
Elephant Man is alone, sitting on the edge of the bed.

ELEPHANT MAN
(alone, facing the audience, speaking with difficulty)
I am not a beggar…
I am not a beggar…

Mary, a young nurse, enters.
She crosses the stage. She arrives with a tray and discovers Elephant Man.
Vehement reaction. She screams and drops the tray.

MARY
No!

Elephant Man looks at her, sitting on the edge of his bed.
In the silence, in the wings.

EVA LÜCKES
Mary?
Mary…

MARY
Nothing!
It's nothing!

Elephant Man looks at her.

MARY
My name is Mary.
I am your nurse.
I work
For Dr. Treves.

Elephant Man, immobile,
looks at the young nurse.

MARY
I am sorry, Mr. Merrick.
I'm ashamed of myself.
Would you like me to call
Another nurse?
Would you like me to leave?
(slowly and well articulated)
Answer me, Mr. Merrick!
I am sure you can speak.
I am sure you know how to speak.
I know you can speak.

ELEPHANT MAN
(exhausted, with difficulty)
Leave me, leave me alone.
Please, leave me alone.
Do not look at me.
I do not want you to look at me.
Do not look at me.
You have the right to examine me,
But do not look at me.
Do not look at me,
Not you.

MARY
But why not ?

ELEPHANT MAN
You are…
You are all I have dreamed of being!
All that I shall not be.
All that I shall never be!
You are normal.
Leave me, leave me alone,
Leave me in my silence.
Do not look at me.
I am not a sight
for a young girl.
Do not look at me.
I know what I am
in other people's eyes.
I do not want to live
in other people's eyes.

Start of "Elephant Man" chorus in the wings.
(The Chorus sings "Elephant Man" in crescendo up to
the indication "End of chorus", the patients acknowledge the arrival of a 'star'.)

MARY
Let them be.
Don't listen to them.

ELEPHANT MAN
Nothing.
It's nothing.
"Elephant Man"!
They are wrong!
I look more like a tapir.
Don't you think so?

MARY
For pity's sake,
Don't listen to them!

ELEPHANT MAN
You've already seen a tapir.
Of course, it is less commercial,
It is less flattering than a soprano…

MARY
Please!
Don't listen to them!

ELEPHANT MAN
I cannot hear anything.
I have hidden myself like a tapir.
I am not an elephant any more!

MARY
Calm yourself!
You're hurting yourself for nothing!

ELEPHANT MAN
I do not hurt myself!
It is the emotions
that hurt me.

MARY
I'd like to help you,
Mr. Merrick.

ELEPHANT MAN
No-one can help me,
Without looking like me!

MARY
You're not Elephant Man any longer.
You're Mr. Merrick.
You're a man!
You're a man!

(End of chorus)

ELEPHANT MAN
(softly)
I should like to be a man.
(vehement)
But I am a monster!

MARY
No!

ELEPHANT MAN
(to himself)
Blind…
I had rather you were blind…
Elephant Man, exhausted, cannot continue.
I had rather…

MARY
You must rest.
Mary, next to Elephant Man, wants to help him lie down.

ELEPHANT MAN
I sleep…
I sleep sitting.
Mary places two cushions on his knees.

ELEPHANT MAN
Forgive me…
I am ashamed…
Elephant Man, his head on the cushions, his arms round his knees.

ELEPHANT MAN
I am ashamed you look after me…

MARY
It's nothing.

ELEPHANT MAN
You are too young.
Forgive me.
It is the first time I have spoken
to a woman of my age.
I am tired.

MARY
Don't speak.

ELEPHANT MAN
Let me go to sleep.

MARY
You're exhausted.
Elephant Man calms down, but is still shudders a few times to the music's beat.

MARY
(like a lullaby)
You are a man, Mr. Merrick.
You are a man and nothing but a man.
We are going to take care of you.
We are there to make like easier for you.
You are a man, Mr. Merrick.
You are a man and nothing but a man.
We are going to take care of you.
We are there to make like easier for you.

EVA LÜCKES
(in the wings)
Mary!
Mary!

MARY
(softly, to herself)
Nothing.
It's nothing.

Exit Mary.
Elephant Man is asleep, his head on his knees.
Nightfall.

 

9 Scene 3
(Elephant Man, Chorus)

Elephant Man is alone on stage, asleep.
A clock strikes six. The Chorus sings the 'Patients' Prayer'.
Elephant Man listens.

'THE PATIENTS' PRAYER'

CHORUS
Behold, Lord,
Your humble servant
On his bed of suffering,
Of suffering!
Restore the soul's strength,
As you created it,
And make it so that, fortified,
By trials,
It may become
Healed by your grace.
May all the demons of this place
Flee with their ill-will,
And may the angels
Of peace keep watch.
My God, restore his health,
For in you
Has he placed his hope,
On his bed of suffering.
O Lord, deign
To come to him,
Restore his health,
His health,
And may he enter your Holy Church
To thank you.
O Lord,
May your hand
Give him back his strength.
May all the demons of this place
Flee with their ill-will,
And may the angels
Of peace keep watch.
My God, restore his health,
For in you
Has he placed his hope,
On his bed of suffering.

 

ELEPHANT MAN
Pity me, Lord!
My bones are jumbled,
My soul is jumbled.
Pity me,
Lord, I have no strength.

Elephant Man goes back to sleep.

 

0 Scene 4
(Elephant Man, Treves, Mary, Eva Lückes
6 Nurses (3 sopranos, 3 altos)
Carr-Gomm, the Hospital Director)

TREVES
(to Elephant Man)
GOOD MORNING!
GOOD MORNING!
GOOD MORNING!
(to the Nurses)
For the moment the patient is in a state of shock.
He has lost the use of his tongue.
We shall have to teach him to speak again…
'In fourths'!
I ask you to express yourselves
'in fourths'.
(to Elephant Man)
Good morning Mr. Merrick!

THE SIX NURSES
Good morning Mr. Merrick!

Treves and the Nurses go up to Elephant Man for the morning visit.

TREVES
Good morning Mr. Merrick!

THE SIX NURSES
Good morning Mr. Merrick!

TREVES
Good morning Mr. Merrick!

Treves is a few inches from Elephant Man's face. He grasps Elephant Man's chin in order to make him articulate.

TREVES
Good morning!

ELEPHANT MAN
(with difficulty)
Good morning.

TREVES
That's good.
(vehement)
Good morning.

ELEPHANT MAN, TREVES
Good morning.

TREVES
That's very good.
(louder)
Good morning.
My name is Joseph Merrick.

ELEPHANT MAN
Good morning.
(more slowly)
My name is Joseph Merrick.

TREVES
Good morning!

ELEPHANT MAN, TREVES
My name is Joseph Merrick.

TREVES
That's good.
That's very good.
You're doing very well,
Mr. Merrick.
I am very pleased with you,
Mr. Merrick.

Exit Treves.
The Nurses look after Elephant Man.

THE SIX NURSES
Don't you worry!
You'll be all right here.
We're here to look after you.
During the day…
And even at night.

ELEPHANT MAN
You are very kind.

THE SIX NURSES
You're lucky!
You've got a good doctor.
Mr. Treves is a very good doctor.

The Nurses leave Elephant Man on his own.
From back-stage, Mr. Carr-Gomm, the hospital director, makes his entrance.
He is middle-aged.
He comes slowly up to look at Elephant Man, without really getting close.

ELEPHANT MAN
(like a reflex)
Good moning...
My name is Joseph Merrick...

Carr-Gomm is silent.
He waits just a second.
He moves to the front of the stage.
He is waiting for Dr. Treves.

CD2
1 Scene 5
(Treves, Carr-Gomm)

Elephant Man and the Nurses to one side.
Treves arrives (probably in a surgeon's garments).

TREVES
Please forgive me, Mr. Carr-Gomm!

CARR-GOMM
We have just had a committee meeting.
Only one question was asked.

TREVES
About Merrick?

CARR-GOMM
The hospital statutes do not allow
us to keep him.
We can only keep patients
who are on active treatment.

TREVES
I have no treatment.

CARR-GOMM
The hospital is overcrowded, Mr. Treves!
We don't have enough place for our patients.

TREVES
I refuse to put someone who is ill out into the street!
I cannot take that responsibility.
Mr. Merrick can no longer live in society.

CARR-GOMM
But the statutes prohibit chronic cases!

TREVES
Mr. Carr-Gomm, this is not a chronic case.
It's a medical, a scientific case!
Must we refuse a patient when his illness is beyond our knowledge?
Must we treat only known illnesses,
Indifferently exercise our skills?
Must we go back to former practice,
Forgetting that medicine is a science?
Mr. Merrick is ill.
We do not have the right to abandon him!

CARR-GOMM
I should like to keep your patient, believe me!
But it doesn't just depend
On you and me,
Dr. Treves. There is the Committee,
And your colleagues!

TREVES
Yes, I know, I'm being a nuisance.

CARR-GOMM
I didn't want to say that, Mr. Treves.
You are a respected surgeon of repute,
But it is true that your positions cause us surprise.
Doctor, you lack neither drive nor ambition.
How do you envisage Mr. Merrick's future?

TREVES
For the moment he evolves slowly.

CARR-GOMM
That will make it more delicate.
To convince the Committee.

TREVES
Mr. Carr-Gomm, it's not a question of committees,
But of morals, of ethics.
We must keep Mr. Merrick.
We haven't the right to let
a patient go without protection.
A man without resources,
An imbecile from birth.
I refuse, Mr. Carr-Gomm.
I did not become a doctor
To throw a patient out into the street.
I did not take an oath
To respect the statutes.

CARR-GOMM
It is not just the statutes, Mr. Treves!

TREVES
If it's just a matter of money
I shall find it myself,
But you will have to back me up!

CARR-GOMM
I can postpone the next Committee meeting.

TREVES
I am most grateful, Mr. Carr-Gomm!

CARR-GOMM
(about to leave)
Dr. Treves,
You have informed Mr. Merrick
of his condition?

TREVES
No, sir.

CARR-GOMM
I thought you made a point
of telling patients the truth?

TREVES
I do not know the truth
As far as Mr. Merrick is concerned!

CARR-GOMM
(leaving)
The deadline, Treves!
The deadline!
That's the most important thing for us!

All exit, except Elephant Man,
who remains alone on stage.

 

2 Scene 6
(Elephant Man, Mary)
Evening light.

Elephant Man limps about, alone on stage, like Shakespeare's Richard III.
He wanders around, perhaps as though about to leave. Elephant Man looks at his shadow on the floor, grotesque, no doubt.

ELEPHANT MAN
(imitating Dr. Treves)
It is a medical, a scientific case…
An imbecile from birth…
Mary enters from the rear.

MARY
Mr. Merrick!
Elephant Man is immobile.
Mary keeps her distance.

MARY
You must come and rest.

ELEPHANT MAN
I don't want to rest.
I am not tired.
I am not ill.
I am deformed,
But I am not ill!
I want to live.
I want to go out.
I want to be a free man,
Master of my own time!
I want to go out in all weathers,
See days that are different,
Nights that are not always the same.

Pause.

MARY
Mr. Merrick,
You cannot live on your own in the world any more.

ELEPHANT MAN
(softly, as though overcome by this reality)
I shall work…
(as though persuading himself)
I've worked all my life,
In a cigar factory,
As a street vendor, a fairground monster.
I'm not a beggar,
I always wanted to work,
Until you shut me up.

MARY
I didn't shut you up.
Tell that to Dr. Treves!
He is the only one who can let you out.
Do you want me to call him?

ELEPHANT MAN
No, thank you, there's no point.

MARY
You should speak to him.
He will listen to you.

ELEPHANT MAN
He will listen to me,
But he will stay just the same.
People in the know
don't change.

MARY
Not he!
Do it for me at least,
At least for me!
Stop thinking you're retarded,
An imbecile
from birth.

ELEPHANT MAN
It's much easier to live like that.

MARY
(vehement)
But it's not true!

ELEPHANT MAN
Leave me!
I am nothing, nothing but a curiosity…

MARY
(vehement)
You're not nothing!
(softly)
You're me too!
They look at each other.

We still have to look after you.
I'm here to help you.
You can't leave!

ELEPHANT MAN
I have no treatment.
I have nothing but a few baths
to get rid of the smell.

MARY
Do you want me to call Dr. Treves?

ELEPHANT MAN
No!
Leave me for a moment.
It's the time when, in the shadows,
I wait for my public.

MARY
That doesn't exist any more!
They've all abandoned you.
You're not Elephant Man any more,
There's no Norman now.

ELEPHANT MAN
Perhaps…
But they're the only ones
who accepted me as I am!

MARY
Mr. Merrick!

ELEPHANT MAN
Don't worry!
I'll come with you.
Elephant Man looks at Mary as she walks away before following her.

ELEPHANT MAN
(alone)
My God!
Why did you put desire in me?

- ENTRACTE  -

 


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6:42:05 PM, 30 August 2014
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