Is "I am not an animal!" what most of us remember about Victorian Englishman Joseph Merrick, a.k.a. the Elephant Man? Or the myth that Michael Jackson tried to buy his skeleton? In any case, 1980's film, starring John Hurt, followed Bernard Pomerance's play, The Elephant Man, a work of enduring popularity playing at Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre through Sunday, March 10.
Merrick spent his early adulthood working in freak shows, where audiences were taken aback by his appearance; one or more physical disorders caused his bones and skin to grow abnormally, giving him an enormous, deformed head and a grotesque appearance. In his final four years, at a London hospital, he made friends ranging in social status from the maintenance staff to the Princess of Wales.