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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Everyman - One Week To Go

Well, got to the end of the play properly, at last.  Finally, Everyman has crawled to his inevitable death.  I'm now in the delightful position of going over the play, in detail, rather than forcing words into my head.
As regulars to this blog will know, Everyman has just been offered a "garment of sorrow".  Now he's introduced to three new friends (on his way to his inevitable death): Strength, Five-Wits (his five senses) and Beauty.  There was a fourth, Discretion, but frankly I couldn't see precisely what it represented - considerably more abstract than the other three - so I cut him.  Together they go towards Everyman's inevitable death, with his Good-Deeds and his Knowledge, of course.  The text refers to them taking hold of a "rood" (which presumably is supposed to be a cross, but I have changed it to "rod") with which he guides them, so I've used a walking stick, so that when Everyman reaches his death he is literally in old age and leaning on his stick.
Those who know the text will be wondering where the priest has gone.  I've cut the section where Everyman goes to a priest and essentially has his last rites, for two reasons. 1. It's incredibly difficult to stage and 2. it's a step too far in away from a generalised moral theme and direct religious propaganda.  At no point towards the end of the play can the audience miss the Christian message, but like political drama, there comes a point where having it rammed down your throat, jars - even for believers.  (It was also a bit dull.)
So, at the cusp of his inevitable death, Everyman's Strength, Beauty and Five-Wits - and at the very last moment, Knowledge - all forsake him.  He's left to crawl into his grave with just his Good-Deeds.  And thus he dies a good person.
Not only have I now crossed the barrier of pain when I comes to learning the lines - specifically the end of the play - I have also finally decided how to open it.  But that is my little secret.
One week... lot's of work to do... but I am only able to do so much.  Because this is an interactive show, because I'm asking audience members to join me onstage to represent the characters of the story, I can't quite rehearse how the show will be.  I genuinely don't know whether it will work.  I don't even know if this way of telling a story has been done before.  It almost certainly has, (I'm against theatre companies saying they're groundbreaking when they so aren't) but I haven't actually come across it anywhere.  So, for me at least, this is an adventure.
And there are very few tickets available - so book now!

Milk Bottle Productions Presents...
The Summoning of Everyman
Adapted and performed by Robert Crighton

The Summoning of Everyman is a powerful morality tale, written in the late medieval period, telling of the struggles for one man, for everyman, to let go of his life.  This interactive performance brings this struggle directly to the audience, asking them to become part of the story, asking them to stand in the footsteps of Fellowship, Good Deeds and even Death himself.  It’s a question that each generation has to answer: can you really take anything with you after death?  Moving, beautiful and thought provoking – ultimately the Summoning comes to Everyone.

Get Involved: we’re looking for a number of audience members to be part of the show – don’t worry this isn’t Pantomime, there are no songs or catchphrases.  Volunteers would be brought on stage and moved by Robert as characters in the story – you get the best seats in the house and a performance that is personally addressed to you.  No acting skills required, just to stand, sit and be yourself, guided by Robert through the story.
If you’re interested then buy your ticket via Ticket Source, then send an email to us at – or call 07704 704 469 for more information.

Performing Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th March 2013
Show starts 7.30pm, doors open 7pm - Tickets £8, includes refreshment
The Lavenham Guildhall, The Market Square, Lavenham
Box Office: 0844 8700 887 or book online:
(Telephone box office hours 9.00am – 7.00pm Mondays –Fridays
(excluding Bank Holidays) and 9.00am – 5.00pm on Saturdays.)
Box Office Number for bookings only, any general enquiries please call
07704 704 469 or email:

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