Below is our preview, giving background information about the play. Click here to read our Everyman review.
The Everyman play
The summoning of the Everyman is a Middle English allegory that explores what it is to be good. A bastion of british drama since the late 15th century, the story follows a high-flying man suddenly stumped by Death's arrival. At the prospect of death, the Everyman must present a case for his life and choices, which leads him on a last-ditch journey to find an advocate to plead his case against the unforgiving death. Through this journey the story explores the nature of personal choices and achievements, mingles the half-uplifting, half depressing notional that, when push comes to shove and you have to meet your maker, you are alone. The emphasis is on your own good deeds.
Everyman: playwright and poet
The author of the original play is unknown, but the adapter in this production is quite the opposite. Carol Ann Duffy is perhaps our most famous living poet, thanks to the deluge of both popular and critical praise for her verse and the public post as Poet Laureate. She will be adapting the script alongside director Rufus Norris, who revealed that there were discussions about changing the show's title to The Everywoman. As The World's Wife poet is best known for retelling history from a female perspective and with The National having come under fire for not showing gender equality this would have made for an interesting spin on the classic. But, Norris notes, that the decision to stick with the male title was based on casting: when stage and screen megastar Chiwetel Ejiofor expressed interest, he was cast as the title role.
Chiwetel Ejiofor: theatre and movie star
After cutting his acting teeth at the National Youth Theatre, Chiwetel Ejiofor began his training at RADA, but it was cut short when he was spotted by Steven Spielberg just three months into the course and cast in the film Amistad. After this strong start his star continued to rise and he's amassed an Olivier, A Bafta Rising Star award, five Golden Globe nominations and an OBE for services to acting, and worked on numerous blockbuster films including Kinky Boots and high profile theatre roles at the Young Vic, Donmar Warehouse and Royal Court.
Ejiofor's recent award-winning performance in 12 Years a Slave was both stoical and tortured, and showed him to an actor at the very top of his game. Though he reminded audiences and critics of just how captivating he is in the intimacy of the theatre in 2013's A Season in the Congo (Young Vic), this will be the first time Chiwetel Ejiofor's graced the National Theatre stage since playing Romeo in 2000.
|What||Everyman, National Theatre|
South Bank, London, SE1 9PX | MAP
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
22 Apr 15 – 31 Jul 15, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Website||Click here for more information and to book via the National Theatre|