So I had the luck of seeing this play at the beginning of last month. (Like, right at the beginning. I think I saw this on the 1st.) And it only cost me £15. (A bargain.)
Now at this price, I thought that I would be sat quite far back (in fact, I thought I would be sat right at the back) but as it turns out, I was right at the front. In fact, I was so close to the sat that I could have spat at the actors (as my mother would say.) My seat was A25 and that’s where it was at I have to tell you! Somehow, a lot of the stage direction was pointed towards the area of this seat. So those numbers are worth booking!
Onto the play itself. The main thing that attracted me to this story that I had never heard of before was that is was a rewrite by Carol Ann Duffy. Got to love the Duffster. She reworked a 15th century play originally entitled: ‘The Somonyng of Everyman’.
Here is a brief summary from the National Theatre website:
“Everyman is successful, popular and riding high when Death comes calling. He is forced to abandon the life he has built and embark on a last, frantic search to recruit a friend, anyone, to speak in his defence. But Death is close behind, and time is running out.”
It really is quite a journey that you’re taken through. Visually and verbally. Duffy manages to balance her fantastic ear for the modern day voice with the original morals of the play. It felt as if she had rewritten this with a Shakespearean twist. And the mix of those two things worked fantastically well.
It’s a fantastically choreographed moral spectacle, that leaves you thinking about it’s themes long after the curtains have closed. (These being metaphorical curtains, as there were none.)
However, if you aren’t lucky enough to be able to get into London to check this out (don’t get me started on the London-centrism for culture that we have in the UK) but the National Theatre have this fantastic scheme in place. They broadcast live certain performances in cinemas across the UK. This particular play, ‘Everyman’ is going to be shared live on 16th July so check out your nearest cinema to see if they are showing it. I’ve already seen two other performances via this live streaming service in the cinema, ‘A View From The Bridge’ and ‘Man + Superman’. And they were really enjoyable that you didn’t feel like you were missing out too much at not being there. So definitely recommended!