Everyman (2012/2013)

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"Indelible... Interactive, funny and inventive"

The New Current

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"A joyous celebration of humanity, and a triumph of physical theatre"

The List

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"... nothing short of a wonderful production, high on laughs, yet with a subtle seriousness to it that only enhances the overall feeling of perfection."

Broadway Baby

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"Profound, fun, and warm"

Three Weeks

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"Funny... poignant... Life, death and the human condition – what more is there?"

Linda Chanan (Edinburgh audience member)

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"No one else does Brecht better"

Lesley Turner, Assistant Principal,
Ormiston Sudbury Academy

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"... the best work performed in my school. We spent hours discussing the work"

Allan Lindsay, Head of Drama,
Highdown School and Sixth Form

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"Theatre at its spine chilling, heart rending best"

Rose-Mary McIntyre, Head of Drama,
Sherrardswood School

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"... highly entertaining, thought-provoking and truly educational in the best sense of the word... Such a visit really is the best teaching aid available."

Andrew Brook, Head of Drama,
Sutton Valence School

Worker
Wisdom
Two Sides
Touche Tick-lay
Surprise
Strength
Sing it
Sexy Money
Sadistic Sibling
Punch
Hearing
Please
The final journey
Old Age
Enlightenment
Noooooooo
Undertaker
Two sides to every story
Nib Nibs
Lover
Kindred
Kindred and Ex-wife
Infancy
Heartbreak
Goods & Riches
Good Deeds in audience
Friendship
Fart
Ex-wife
Everyman sees his friend
Everyman and Friendship
Everyman and Ex-wife
Everyman and Ex-wife cuddle
Even my body turns against me
God
Time is short
Dependency
Cleansed
Birth
Beauty
Beauty handshake
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  Nicola Warwick, Kerry Frampton and Scott Gilmour in Splendid’s 2012 production of Everyman (photos: Lewis Wileman)

‘Everyman’ is an English morality play from the sixteenth century. Long before the complex theatre of Marlowe and Shakespeare came these didactic plays, devised for and by the ordinary people, and performed in the street or public buildings, with a simple message about living a moral life.

Everyman is minding his own business when he has an unexpected visit from Death. It seems that God needs someone from Earth to account for all the sinfulness and immorality he sees in the world, and Everyman is the one for him. And so Everyman must embark on a spiritual journey to cleanse his soul and make him fit for heaven… but will he be able to rid himself of all his earthly baggage and become holy again? Or is he just too human? After all, he is Everyman…

Splendid’s adaptation aims to blend the medieval with the modern, taking the black and white certainty of sixteenth century England and smudging it up with the multi-coloured swirl we live in today. Splendid’s professional cast of three investigate the very nature of humanity: what does it mean to be ‘good’? How can we become ‘better’? And who’s keeping score anyway?

With our usual blend of multi-roling, crowd-pleasing comedy, music and political inquiry, Splendid’s ‘Everyman’ is lively, provocative theatre with its head in the clouds but its feet firmly rooted in the dirt.

Edinburgh Fringe 2013 poster design: Ben Hales, photo: Lewis Wileman

Splendid Productions’ ‘Everyman’
Toured Sept 2012 – March 2013
Written by: Anonymous
Adapted by: Kerry Frampton 
Directed by: Mal Smith, Lucy Cuthbertson, Matt Wilde
Songs by:  Kerry Frampton, Ben Hales, Mal Smith
Design by: Kerry Frampton

Cast & Characters

Kerry Frampton: Undertaker, Everyman
Nicola Warwick: Undertaker, God, Friendship, Kindred, Goods & Riches, Knowledge
Scott Gilmour: Undertaker, Death, Ex-wife, Goods & Riches, Good Deeds

with thanks to: Corelli College staff and students

More about Everyman

Everyman DVD
£35
Everyman script
£15
Everyman Education Pack
£12
Everyman Super Pack
£55

“One of my favourite Splendid productions… I wanted students to see Brecht in performance and that’s exactly what you gave us. Our students enjoyed the physical approach and were suitably challenged… No one else does Brecht better – looking forward to next year already”
Lesley Turner, Assistant Principal, Ormiston Sudbury Academy

“It was beyond my expectations… the best work performed in my school. We spent hours discussing the work and I know the students were impressed… Professionalism, punch and pace.”
Allan Lindsay, Head of Drama, Highdown School and Sixth Form, Reading

read more…

“One of my favourite Splendid productions… I wanted students to see Brecht in performance and that’s exactly what you gave us. Our students enjoyed the physical approach and were suitably challenged… No one else does Brecht better – looking forward to next year already”
Lesley Turner, Assistant Principal, Ormiston Sudbury Academy

“It was beyond my expectations… the best work performed in my school. We spent hours discussing the work and I know the students were impressed… Professionalism, punch and pace.”
Allan Lindsay, Head of Drama, Highdown School and Sixth Form, Reading

“I thought it was very funny, very poignant and with a very talented cast. The audience participation was a perfect example of how it should be – really engaging and involving – not uncomfortable and threatening. It was a Sunday morning, in a tiny theatre space, with a cast of 3 – yet it was a really profound experience. I was mesmerised throughout and very moved at the end. So thank you to all of you for this experience and for introducing me to Everyman. Although I had heard of it before, this was the first time I realised its power. Life, death and the human condition – what more is there?”
Linda Chanan (Edinburgh audience member)

“I just wanted to say how much we absolutely LOVED having you guys in school today! It was fantastic to see the students so engaged!! And what a production… I have to say (having seen 4 previous ones) this has to be my favourite. (Or at least in my top 2!) I thought it was brilliant!”
Bryan Sluman, Ashfield School, Nottingham

“I write to thank you for your performance of ‘Everyman’, stunning theatre with layer upon layer of meaning physicalized is such a skilful way as to drive the message home to human hearts of our mortality! I am on a journey that brought up so many parallels that I felt I was observing a narrative of my life –not that one ‘observes’ your productions, more like I was participating in a narrative of my own life. This is theatre at its spine chilling, heart rending best and you had me captivated for the entire performance, as the ideas and creativity that you brought to the script kept flowing seamlessly through the piece; a wonderful modernisation and resonant adaptation of the script. Thank you for all the work, sweat and toil you put in to that.”
Rose-Mary McIntyre, Head of Drama, Sherrardswood School

“Many thanks for another fine performance… highly entertaining, thought-provoking and truly educational in the best sense of the word… we drama teachers were once again delighted by Splendid’s energy, positivity and flair. Such a visit really is the best teaching aid available.
Andrew Brook, Head of Drama, Sutton Valence School

“Superb! To make such a complex text accessible to Year Tens was impressive in itself and the production was a real source of inspiration for my Year Thirteens and their devised pieces. They haven’t stopped talking about it!”
Debbie Ripolles, Head of Drama, Urmston Grammar, Manchester

Press on Everyman

… interactive, funny and inventive, the hour flashes by but by the time the play finishes Splendid have certainly left an indelible impression with you”
The New Current – Read the whole review…

Everyman, Underbelly, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2013
Reviewed by The New Current

Everyman – or The Somonyng of Everyman – is a late 15th-century English morality play that examines the question of ‘Christian salvation and what Man must do to obtain it’. The ‘good and evil deeds of one’s life will be tallied by God after death, as in a ledger book. Everyman represents all of mankind and is told, by death, that he has to account for his life to God. In the hope of improving his own account Everyman tries to convince others to make this journey with him. And in the process learns ‘a man will only have his Good Deeds to accompany him beyond the grave.’

Everyman felt like the type of travelling show that would go from small town to small town in the 19th Century bringing a brilliant and amazing show to the lives of an unsuspecting audience. Within that hour the audience is shown something punishingly beautiful performed by a troupe who’s singular goal seems to be to enlighten the their lives and bringing them a joy that remains long after they’ve gone.

One has to detach oneself for a moment to see the magic that this company creates. The feeling of happiness that is filling the room as we take our seats at the start is somewhat palpable. Their interaction with the audience from start lowers any inhibition they may have allowing them to really connect to Everyman’s story.

There is a huge amount of humour and some great comedy in the show with Splendid’s unique style. The planed and unplanned banter with the audience gives the show a deeper realism that offers up something even more original. From the songs that punctuate the show to the ‘7 Things That Make Us The Same’ which arch’s the show.

The three performers are wonderfully dynamic and manage to seamlessly interact with the audience whilst ensuring the balance between the plays humour and seriousness is maintained. Though the story may come from the 15th Century there are lessons within ‘Everyman’ that are still relevant today. And that, I guess, is the delightful power of ‘Everyman’.

Splendid Productions have a flare for this type of theatre. Interactive, funny and inventive the hour flashes by but by the time the play finishes Splendid have certainly left an indelible impression with you.

… a joyous celebration of humanity, and a triumph of physical theatre”
The List – Read the whole review…

Everyman, Underbelly, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2013
Reviewed by The List

What happens when you bring a new adaptation of the 15th century morality play, which explores themes of death to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe? Well, many things can happen when Splendid Productions bring their new adaptation of Everyman to the city: God may give the audience a sharp telling off; there may be singing and dancing, but an unforgettable Fringe experience will be had by all.

Performed by Kerry Frampton, Nikki Warwick and Scott Gilmour, this perfect trio takes the audience on a journey through the life of the eponymous Everyman, who represents all of mankind, and must answer to God for all the good and evil deeds he committed in his life. But this allegorical journey features what the original play doesn’t: song, dance, mime and general, wonderful silliness.

Adapted from the anonymously-written original by Frampton, and directed by Mal Smith, Lucy Cuthbertson and Matt Wilde, Everyman takes the audience on a wildly entertaining, yet emotional journey through the contradictions, wants and failures of man, creating a piece that is a joyous celebration of humanity, and a triumph of physical theatre.

… nothing short of a wonderful production, high on laughs, yet with a subtle seriousness to it that only enhances the overall feeling of perfection.”
Broadway Baby – Read the whole review…

Everyman, Underbelly, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2013
Reviewed by Broadway Baby

What would you do if Death dropped by one day to tell you that you have been chosen to represent all of humanity before God the Almighty and you realised that your record so far might not be the best? That’s exactly what happens to Everyman, a selfish idiot loaded with money but short of friends, in this highly entertaining performance set to explore just what makes us all human – unique, but alike at the same time.

The show, because this genuinely is a performance with a high show factor, opens up with a musical number entitled ‘Seven Things That Make Us The Same’. No.1 is Death, which is where our story starts. God asks his loyal servant Death to choose someone to represent humanity before him and he picks Everyman. Short on time, Everyman must go on a quest to find someone who can accompany him on his journey but to nobody’s surprise, volunteers for this kind of pilgrimage are hard to find especially if all you have done in your life is gather wealth and reject your friends and family. As Everyman’s desperation increases, Death draws closer, allowing both Everyman himself and the audience to see just how little material possessions matter when facing the Almighty.

This is nothing short of a wonderful production, high on laughs, yet with a subtle seriousness to it that only enhances the overall feeling of perfection. Kerry Frampton is fantastic in her part as Everyman, as are Nikki Warwick and Scott Gilmour in filling the parts of the remaining characters. In mixing elements from theatre, musicals, cabarets and sketch comedy, the talented cast leaves the audience roaring with laughter as they run about stage, trying to save Everyman from facing Death and his final judgment alone.

The combination of a wonderfully witty script, a great storyline and superb acting makes this an all-round joyous experience. The musical numbers are great and the actors skillfully include the audience in their performance through what can only be described as a perfect amount of improvisation. However, despite the silliness, the show has a darker and more serious undertone. This is beautifully communicated both in the beginning and towards the end, as the three performers quietly starts singing, ‘There is one certainty, one certain certainty, and that certain certainty is death’, reminding us all that Everyman’s journey is inevitably one we all have to take.

… profound, fun, and warm”
Three Weeks – Read the whole review…

Everyman, Underbelly, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2013
Reviewed by Three Weeks

A cheery, dazzling morality play about death. One person is to go before God and represent all humanity, and it is not a coincidence that this Everyman is a cowardly wheedling narcissist. The three performers make this old and morbid tale profound, fun, and warm – even with regular calls of “Exit Friendship! Exit Strength!”. Their flow is both improvised and confident, graceful and clownish.

They use the audience a lot, and well – we can always be depended upon to be mute embarrassed stooges. The atmosphere recalls Tim Burton – jauntily Gothic – except that Splendid Productions are good. Best of all are their seven interludes on human universals: funny, full of musical slapstick, and keeping the show’s momentum up.

“… a heavy dose of fun filled laughter… thrilling from start to end”
Fresh Fringe – Read the whole review…

Everyman, Underbelly, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2013
Reviewed by Fresh Fringe

‘There is one certain certainty in the world and that is death’. A pretty heavy statement to make before midday on a grey Tuesday morning but adding some music and a charming cast of three actors this contemporary adaptation of a 15th Century tale captures the audience with its vivacity and fast-paced narrative resulting in belly aching laughter throughout.

The play is concerned primarily with what makes us who we are and the impact our actions have on the world and the people around us. After God summons Death to choose one man to be accountable for his sins and represent the human race by giving up his life to be judged before Him, a fun-filled roller-coaster of songs, dance, mime and emotions are used to highlight the plight of a man filled with the knowledge that he is now at the end of his journey in the world. The fun is that he is not just any man but Everyman. Everyman was ruled by his senses which outweighed the good deeds that he did. In order to stand before God he must re-write the wrong doings of his past and understand the mistakes he made in order to find eternal peace.

The clever thing about Everyman is that with characters named Everyman, Strength, Beauty and Friendship it can create an impersonal feel but it is the acting that makes the performance so real and intimate. This does add a moral aspect to the play but very indirectly so. The play is not concerned with preaching to the audience; in fact one of the greatest highlights was the excellent audience interaction from the three characters, in particular Kerry Frampton. Frampton performs excellently throughout the play, all three actors do, but her skill at making you believe the plight of Everyman was exceptional.

The Seven Things That Make Us The Same was a particular highlight which notable reference to the 5 Senses and 7 Ages of Man sequence. The whole production was thrilling from start to end and the small stage and even the audience floor space were well used in order to bring the story more to life. The props, the music, the acting, the writing, the costumes and the excellent spirit of the audience and actors a like all contribute in making this a play with meaning but with a heavy dose of fun filled laughter and song that would brighten up anyone’s day.

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