Best Of 2017

Best Twisted Theater Performance: 'The Elephant Man'

Best Twisted Theater Performance

Taking on the title role in The Elephant Man, a great play from 1979, is no easy task. But Cincinnati Shakespeare Company had the right veteran actor for the role when it staged the show in October. In his 17th season with Cincy Shakes, Giles Davies totally inhabited the part of John Merrick, a severely disfigured man in Victorian London whose body made him the object of scorn and morbid fascination in the 1880s. The physically adept actor played the part with his face and body contorted, walking with a painful, limping gait. He also employed a voice that emerged from Merrick’s tortured body, muffled at first, then increasingly clear. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., Downtown, 513-381-2273, cincyshakes.com.