Everyman recounts the story of its eponymous hero as she is told, as punishment for her hedonistic and selfish lifestyle, that she is going to die. Realising how much she regrets, Everyman sets out on a quest for forgiveness. But in a story comparable to The Picture of Dorian Gray and antithesis to the moral of The Christmas Carol, Everyman struggles to find solace in her final days. Told through a mix of dialogue and physical dancing - with an all-female cast - this wonderfully original and bleak dystopian tale perfectly encapsulates feelings of despair and hopelessness in the face of death.

The strength of Everyman ultimately is in its visuals; its perfect use, and creation, of atmosphere and emotional states

The performance begins with Everyman celebrating her birthday with a big party. Immediately the strength of the production comes through in its choreography and near-perfect execution, with movements both capturing the atmosphere and actual actions of the characters. All of the dances in play are strong, imaginative and flawless in style and substance. The art design and lighting also comes across, especially in the multicoloured Roman-esque/modern outfits worn by the cast, Everyman’s being positively distinctive in it being completely red. After the initial party scene, the story takes a dark and surreal turn as God (or other supernatural forces) decide to punish Everyman for her debauchery.

The both aptly and humorously named servant Dodo goes to Everyman and tells her that she will die soon, and that she has little time to make amends for her actions. Upset by flashbacks of past wrongs, Everyman goes to each unfortunate recipient of her originally selfish ways looking for forgiveness and offering apologies, resulting in differing and not altogether positive results. With its grim and sometimes sinister tone, Everyman explores the issue of what happens when something can’t be forgiven; what happens to someone in the end who has spent their whole life caring only about themselves and crushing the spirits of those around them.

While the dialogue can come across as a lecture sometimes, the acting, especially from Everyman, is both fluid and emotive, perfectly capturing the feelings of a tormented soul. The strength of Everyman ultimately is in its visuals; its perfect use, and creation, of atmosphere and emotional states, entirely through character choreography or music and lighting. While a little bleak and humourless, Everyman is a great unique and creative character study, perfectly creating the character and history of Everyman through dialogue and dance alone. An imaginative and fantastically directed production.

Reviews by Euan Brook

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The Blurb

Everyman is invincible, living life to the full until Death forces her to reassess what it has all been about. The all-female cast from North London Collegiate School return to bring this powerful, piece of theatre to life. Combining text, physical theatre and sound, this will be a relevant, contemporary interpretation of universal issues.

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