Everyman, a medieval morality play, was staged at the National Theatre in 2015 in an adaptation by the poet Carol Ann Duffy with direction by Rufus Norris. This photograph shows Chiwetel Ejiofor in the eponymous role as Everyman; in the background are actors wearing luminous neon masks in the allegorical role of Fellowship. In Duffy’s 21st-century version, Everyman is a rich, suited banker. As he enjoys a hedonistic, drug-fuelled birthday party, Everyman is visited by Death and forced to account for the way that he has lived his life.
- Article by:
- Hetta Elizabeth Howes
- Form and genre, Faith and religion
The mystery plays and morality plays of the 15th and 16th centuries were very different from modern drama. They were performed in public spaces by ordinary people, and organised and funded by guilds of craftsmen and merchants. Hetta Howes takes us back in time to show how these plays portrayed scenes from the Bible, conveyed religious doctrine and encouraged their audiences to lead Christian lives.