American Sniper star Bradley Cooper to bring The Elephant Man to London's West End

The Oscar nominee will reprise his role as John Merrick on the UK stage in May

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The Independent Culture

Bradley Cooper will be bringing his Broadway play The Elephant Man to London’s West End this summer.

The Oscar-nominated star of American Sniper will reprise his lead role as physically deformed Joseph Merrick, famously played by John Hurt in the Bafta-winning 1980 movie.

“Never did we think we would have the privilege to perform this show on Broadway, let alone in London,” Cooper said. “I’m honoured that Alessandro, Patricia, the entire company and I have the opportunity to continue to tell his story.”

Cooper’s co-stars Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson will be joining him in the transfer to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Previews will begin on 19 May with the run set to close on 8 August.

Cooper insisted that the move is “not about making money”. “I'm bringing [Merrick] home to London,” he told the Daily Mail. “Every night I say goodbye to myself and I let him in.”

Bernard Pomerance's play was first staged in London in 1977 and Cooper has been praised by critics for his performance. He portrays Merricks deformities by contorting his body, rather than using prosthetics.

The Broadway production will come to an end a day early, so that Cooper is free to walk the red carpet at the Academy Awards on 22 February.

He is nominated for his third Oscar for his role as Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in Clint Eastwood’s critically-acclaimed war film, which stormed the worldwide box office last weekend to take just under $100 million.

Tickets for The Elephant Man in London can be purchases online here.

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