He may be one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood at this moment in time, but Bradley Cooper has been getting in touch with his thespian side of late, currently starring in a Broadway revival of ‘The Elephant Man’ that’s currently occupying London’s West End, and winning good reviews to boot.

Some people may be surprised to see the 40 year old three-time Oscar nominee “slumming it” in tiny London theatres, but his lead role as Joseph Merrick has been getting good critical notices. Written by Bernard Pomerance and first staged in 1977, the role has formerly been performed by a certain David Bowie. No pressure there, then.

Bradley CooperBradley Cooper leaving a London theatre having starred in 'The Elephant Man'

The Daily Mail put in a glowing five star review, saying that Cooper’s performance was a “singularly theatrical experience. There is no mask, no plastic fakery, no false hunchback… …simply by dint of his art, good-looking Mr Cooper persuades us that he is this pitiable, and soon engagingly likeable grotesque.”

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Many reviews contained similarly effusive praise – except The Telegraph’s notice, and even that exempted Cooper’s performance from an otherwise “sluggish” production that meant that the dramatic pace of the script was “killed stone dead”.

It’s been a great few years for Cooper, whose stock has risen from turning in relatively anonymous comedy performances in things like The Hangover to critically acclaimed masterpieces in the last three years. Now, it seems as though he’s getting reacquainted with stage performing, something he’s done only twice in his career until now, in ‘Three Days of Rain’ (2006) and ‘The Understudy’ (2008).

Cooper was nominated for an Oscar for his performance opposite Jennifer Lawrence in 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook, then in back-to-back years for American Hustle and American Sniper, though he lost out on all three occasions. He’s also turned in memorable performances in Limitless and Guardians of the Galaxy over the last couple of years.

Later in 2015, he will link up with Jennifer Lawrence for a third movie together entitled Joy - 2014’s Serena was the second in this run. On his current form, a full Oscar win can’t be far round the corner.

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