Park Theatre in London is to stage the UK premiere of psychological thriller The Elephant Song by Canadian playwright Nicolas Billon.
The production, directed by Jason Moore, will run in the theatre’s Park90 space from 18 January to 11 February 2023 with a cast including Gwithian Evans, Jon Osbaldeston and Louise Faulker.
Fraught with mind-games and verbal tugs-of-war, 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 devastating consequences.
The play premiered at Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario in 2004 and later became a film starring Bruce Greenwood, Catherine Keener, Carrie-Anne Moss and Xavier Dolan, which was awarded the Canadian Screen Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2015.
The UK premiere is being presented by OnBook Theatre which was founded by partners Jason Moore and Ian Nicholas to produce quality productions by established and new playwrights.
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.”
The creative team also includes set designer Ian Nicholas and assistant director Luke Mazzamuto.