Everyman

CHRISTOPHER SMITH For Everyman, no venue in England could be more apt than St Andrew's Hall in Norwich, a spacious 15th century church that used to echo with the passionate sermons of the friars in the very era of the first enactment of this great allegory of man's confrontation with death.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

For Everyman, no venue in England could be more apt than St Andrew's Hall in Norwich, a spacious 15th century church that used to echo with the passionate sermons of the friars in the very era of the first enactment of this great allegory of man's confrontation with death.

The cast was provided by the Maddermarket Players, with David Reeves impressive in the lead. The director was Simon Callow, whose demise in a kilt was a major contribution to the film Four Weddings and a Funeral. On this occasion he opened the drama by giving voice to the Wrath of God.

Though ensuring a degree of intimacy, arena-style production was not entirely persuasive. Often it was hard to see what was happening on the other side, while amplified voices came from surprising directions. There is a lot to be said for using a stage, even if doing so is a bit conventional.


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The London Mozart Players and the Viva Voce Singers under Andrew Parrott added an important dimension to the text with the first UK performance of the incidental music that Sibelius wrote in 1916. Though not a perfect fit with this version of the play, it helped bring out emotions, particularly when conveying a sense of sublime fulfilment.

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