A morality play
If Everyman has forgotten about God, God has not forgotten about Everyman! His bad behaviour has so much hurt and angered God that he decides Everyman must be punished. To that effect, he sends his “mighty messenger”, Death, to give Everyman notice that he must prepare to meet his maker and give a “sure reckoning” of his life. This is how the story begins. How will Everyman face Death and what will happen to his soul?…
Everyman is an allegorical verse play written in the 15th century. When summoned up by Death to set off for his last journey, Everyman tries to get some of his worldly friends to go with him. But all, from Kindred to Riches, from Beauty to Strength, abandon him, except for Good Deeds and Knowledge who take him to meet Confession and make his peace with God.
What better way to launch our collaboration with 12th century St Barts than to run a medieval morality play complete with candles and music – setting the (moral high) ground!
We are also running a series of cultural events around this production. These include a pre-theatre talk by The Rector of St Bartholomew, Revd Martin Dudley, a meeting with an expert in medieval literature, post-show Q and A events with cast and creative team.
Beyond its medieval setting and language, Everyman is a tale of all times telling the agony and despair of a man at death’s doors realizing that all his worldly goods will stand him in no good stead. Beyond its seemingly dignified tone, the humor of the play lies in the bewildered central character’s naivety and the righteous stubbornness of his too-worldly “friends” who all refuse to follow him to the grave. This comes to life through the verse which, since then, has defined a form of English poetry (the so-called “Everyman verse”). The very human and forgivable attitude of the characters when asked to accompany the dying man on his last journey provide the comic relief that draws us into the drama.