Adam Pearson: Freak Show
Documentary in which actor and presenter Adam Pearson explores the world of freak shows and meets people who use their medical conditions to educate, entertain and make money.
Adam has neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that causes non-cancerous tumours called fibromas to grow along his nerve endings. Whilst these can grow anywhere, most of Adam’s have grown on his face, causing severe disfigurement.
Adam has been called ‘monster’, ‘freak’ and ‘Elephant Man’ because of his similarity to Joseph Merrick – one of the most famous freak show performers in history. It’s a name he despises and something he has tried to distance himself from, even avoiding watching the film, but he was inspired to make this programme after being approached to work with a famous American freak show.
To find out if his concerns regarding exploitation are true, Adam travels to America and spends time with travelling freak show 999 Eyes, meeting its most famous ‘born freaks’, Black Scorpion and Vlad Vendetta. He travels to Mexico to meet world-famous performer Jesus ‘Chuy’ Aceves, who is known onstage as Wolf Boy due to a condition that causes excess hair to grow on his face. Adam also meets people from modern-day freak shows such as actor Mat Fraser, who starred in the cult TV series American Horror Story: Freak Show.
Will spending time with the performers change Adam’s viewpoint, and could he be closer to the Elephant Man than he ever thought? Will he be inspired to take to the stage and put on his first one-man freak show?
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