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Everyman (Faber Drama)

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He is very touching in the scene where he confronts his scooter-riding young self and owns up to a life of self-gratification. With classics such as Ted Hughes's The Iron Man and award-winners including Emma Carroll's Letters from the Lighthouse, Faber Children's Books brings you the best in picture books, young reads and classics. Otherwise Duffy has given us a rich text full of haunting lines such as the sudden recollection of “the mad joy of a school playground”. Award-winning poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy’s thrilling contemporary adaptation of the fifteenth century play The Summoning of Everyman, is directed by Katherine Nesbitt.

Whether that's putting new work on stages across the world or supporting our outreach and learning programmes, every purchase you make really does make a difference. Duffy’s poetry is underscored by William Lyons’s eclectic music and faithfully realised by Norris’s virtuosic production that captures both the frantic dizziness of a money-driven world and the beckoning finality of death. She won the 1993 Whitbread Award for Poetry and the Forward Prize for Best Collection for Mean Time. A cornerstone of English drama since the 15th century, this new adaptation by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy was presented at the National Theatre, London, in April 2015.Everyman is also a sharp-suited figure first seen celebrating his 40th birthday with a hedonistic wingding full of coke, booze and, in Javier De Frutos’s choreography, wild, swirling dance. One of the great primal, spiritual myths, Everyman asks whether it is only in death that we can understand our lives. This takes nothing away from its emotion - it's just as capable of expressing Everyman's anger, confusion, hybris and acceptance of death. Its setting is thus a rooftop, where the 40-year old hedonistic financier is celebrating his birthday. God is here merged with the figure of Good Deeds and embodied by Kate Duchene as a cleaning-woman with Marigolds and bucket.

I managed to watch Rufus Norris' exceptional staging of "Everyman" at the National Theatre's streaming service with Chiwetel Ejiofor playing the main role. It may, at first, seem strange that Rufus Norris has chosen to open his personal account as the National Theatre’s director with a 15th-century morality play. Faber Members get access to live and online author events and receive regular e-newsletters with book previews, promotional offers, articles and quizzes. Didn't care for Carol Ann Duffy prior to the play, had to study so much of her poetry in school, but what a clever and unique adaptation. I really enjoyed the speech by Everyman towards the end, during which he muses about his life, including the good and bad things.Milton Court is located within the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is approximately a 5 minute walk from the Barbican entrance on Silk Street. While Ev’s lifestyle is clearly, as the play also demonstrates, not all humankind’s, it does point towards Duffy’s universal enemy: a corporate world that glorifies individualism and risky choices, hones materialistic desires and, most importantly, creates in its inhabitants a complete lack of responsibility. While not quite having the instructive edge of the morality play form, this production of Everyman nonetheless does have its didactic elements, arranged in long (and mostly environmentalist) spiels that remind us of a basic lesson: that actions have, often irreversible, consequences. But Ejiofor is at his best in the play’s closing moments when he acknowledges the miracle of life while accepting the reality of death. Everyman’s prime sin also lies not so much in seeing money as solution to any problem as in ignoring ecological reality.

Yet another project inspired by this play, which I will get back to when I have more time (and life experience? She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Britain's Poet Laureate in May 2009. The play swings between the hyper-spectacular and the poignant, the perfectly choreographed scenes with Ev’s friends and the gold, dazzling, personifications of materialism pitched against moments with his dying parents, and flashbacks to his childhood. While the religious framework of the morality play may no longer ring true for many in a modern audience, questions of responsibility, duty and conscience, the audience is reminded, still have their place in our secular times. It tells a well-known story, of man’s journey from sin to salvation in the face of death; its characters are flat personifications with pre-determined roles to act out.But what was originally church propaganda has been turned, in Carol Ann Duffy’s stunning adaptation, into a scathing assault on the myopic materialism of the modern age and a reminder of our own mortality. Plan your journey and find more route information in ‘ Your Visit’ or book your car parking space in advance.

I sense this probably falls in the Noah/Cloud Atlas/The Green Knight/Avatar uncanny valley of being too sincere for the secular and too mystical for the religious, but that's my jam. Deserted by friends, family and goods, he finds solace only in a dosser named Knowledge (Penny Layden) who enables him to face Death with a new-found humility. Although the play takes its roots from the moralist Christian literary tradition, much like Hugo von Hofmannsthal's rendition - Everyman is portrayed in a balanced way and carefully nuanced. I saw this play when it was at the NT and found this updated version very powerful-- however, I have always found it to be powerful, no matter the version. Her poems address issues such as oppression, gender, and violence, in an accessible language that has made them popular in schools.The most extraordinary moment in Norris’s production comes when Ian MacNeil’s design, Paul Anderson’s lighting and Paul Arditti’s sound combine to simulate the effect of a tsunami. Her collections include Standing Female Nude (1985), winner of a Scottish Arts Council Award; Selling Manhattan (1987), which won a Somerset Maugham Award; Mean Time (1993), which won the Whitbread Poetry Award; and Rapture (2005), winner of the T. View image in fullscreen Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Everyman is forced to face the spiritual consequences of his materialist life. The basis is reminiscent of Jedermann but it is a new confrontation with death and the impossibility to bargain with death. Lastly, the author sprinkles the play with a good deal of humour, especially with the character of Death.

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