Review: Everyman at People’s Theatre Newcastle
Carol Ann Duffy’s EVERYMAN boldly reimagines a fifteenth century morality play into a modern reminder that living to excess and for one’s self may be enjoyable and fun for now, but that one day you may need to answer for it all.
The eponymous protagonist Everyman is a bad-boy banker who swaggers his way through a sex and drug fuelled life of self-gratification. But when he is called to a reckoning by God for the sins of mankind, he is forced to take stock of his selfish life.
The play opens with God (Kay Edmumdson) informing Death(Mike Smith) to collect Everyman(Craig Fairbairn) from the world. Death arrives on the scene to summon Everyman in order to give an account of his life. He is then visited by figures representing Goods, Fellowship, Kindred, Climate, Good-Deeds as well as others, all of whom reject him in his hour of need except for Knowledge, who agrees to accompany him in his search for salvation.
Whilst this story originates from the 15th century it’s still very relevant in today’s society. I particularly liked the fellowship example that shows you can be life and soul of a party but then when you may need someone to speak on your behalf, the view of your so called friends may not be what you expect.
Kay Edmundsun gave us an angry portrayal of God, tired of seeing ‘every man’s’ flagrant lifestyle and attitude. Clearly upset at what her creations have become when left to their own device
Craig Fairbairn produces a lovely performance as Everyman. A representation of everyone symbolised in this character. We see an ignorant, selfish loudmouth who come the end is stripped bare with nothing but his own thoughts and remorse.
Mike Smith also gives us a comical and enjoyable performance as Death. Dressed as a biker with a chainsaw and dark eyes, sent by God he goes about his duties with an obvious dark pleasure.
A shout out also to the ensemble cast who I will name, Lauren Aspery, Sean Burnside, Ruth Gibson, Charles Hope, Patrick Johnson, Molly Lloyd-James, Rye Mattick, Stephanie Moore, Chris Neal, Ben Watkins, Cat White and Everyboy Dexter Brissenden-Lang. This ensemble gave a wonderful showing as Everymans figures as well as a conciseness.
This adaptation was really enjoyable, modern and relatable. This story will continue to succeed the ages as it’s a tale of morality is one that will be ongoing. I also like the rhyme used within some conversation or sentences which gave the language a historic feel too.
Please note if attending; this is a 90 minute play straight through so ensure you’re comfortable being taking your seat.
Everyman adapted by Carol Ann Duffy
Date: Monday 13 – Saturday 18 February 2023
Includes a reduced-capacity performance on Tuesday 14th
Tickets: £15 (Conc. £13)
Venue: People’s Theatre, Stephenson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5QF
Box Office: 0191 265 5020
This amateur production of “Everyman” Copyright © Carol Ann Duffy. Is reproduced by permission of the author c/o Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd., 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN.