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Elliot Norton Reviews; Richmond Crinkley


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Elliot Norton Reviews
Richmond Crinkley
Program Number


Series Description

Boston theatre critic Elliot Norton interviews prominent actors, directors and producers on their craft. (Aired from October, 1958 to 1982. Winner of both Peabody and Tony Awards.) Series release date: 1958

Program Description

Elliot Norton interviews producer Richmond Crinkley about the success of his productions of The Elephant Man at the Shubert Theater, on Broadway, and across the country. Crinkley used to be director of the Folger Theater in Washington, Kennedy Center, and American National Theater and Academy. He is currently head of Bowmont Theater Repertory Theatre Crinkley tells Norton the story of how he first came across “The Elephant Man”. He read about a production of The Elephant Man at the Hampton Theatre Company, an off-Broadway theater in London, in the London Sunday Times.

Crinkley told actor Phillip Anglim about the play and after Anglim enjoyed it in London, he brought the script back for Crinkley. It took eight months and waiting for several other producers to turn it down before Crinkley could get the rights.

People thought Crinkley was crazy for taking it on, because it was not incredibly successful in England and never made it to the West End (the Broadway of England). He finally saw the British version and could see why it was not so successful. Their version was very clinical, with more emphasis on what Victorian hospitals were like. His American version was uplifting rather than depressing.

Crinkley and Norton talk about the role of Joseph Merrick, “the elephant man,” and the various actors that played him, including Phillip Anglim in New York. Crinkley speaks about the physical exercises the actors have to do to combat the distorted way they were using their body in the show. They speak about the themes of humanity, internal beauty, and sympathy that are brought up in the play. They talk about the real Joseph Merrick and the real Mrs. Kendal. They speak about his role as executive producer at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center as well as his production of The Philadelphia Story.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Talk Show
Performing Arts
Chicago: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Richmond Crinkley,” 01/06/1981, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed March 24, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_4BAAC79ED3384F94B406AD803867D4E6.
MLA: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Richmond Crinkley.” 01/06/1981. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. March 24, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_4BAAC79ED3384F94B406AD803867D4E6>.
APA: Elliot Norton Reviews; Richmond Crinkley. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_4BAAC79ED3384F94B406AD803867D4E6
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