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    Death hounds Everyman

    The medieval morality play Everyman gets a wicked makeover with the NT Live's racy screening on 15, 19 and 20 August at 7.30pm and on 16 August at 2.30pm - only at Cinema Nouveau theatres in Joburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town.

    Its meek-and-mild opening introduces us to Kate Duchene as a very ordinary cleaning lady who is preparing a room for Everyman's 40th birthday party, but don't be fooled.

    What seems normal soon erupts into unrefined anarchy when Everyman's band of misfit friends proclaim to be the 'Masters of the Universe' and indulge in an orgy of cocaine binging, booze and violence that results in his death. When the cleaning lady reveals herself to be God and gives Death an order to do a reckoning with Everyman, you know that you're in for many more outrageous surprises.

    Death hounds Everyman

    Cavorting with the seven deadly sins

    Wearing a casual suit and bright shirt, Death cheekily states that Everyman's death is the result of cavorting with the seven deadly sins and that he squandered his precious time on Earth on pleasure, leisure, and treasure.

    Calling himself 'God's Heavy', Dermot Crowley delivers a delightfully cheeky performance as a smarmy and faithful servant who makes it clear that Everyman's life is on loan and that "life is just a crying game" where, in the end, you are "only left with your name and nothing else".

    For Everyman, brilliantly performed by Chiwetel Ejiofor (from 12 Years a Slave), it's hell from this moment forward as he has to come to terms with only being 'stardust' and will soon return to dust.

    Everyman is forced to abandon the life he has built and embark on a last, frantic search to recruit a friend, anyone, to speak in his defence, with Death on his heels and time running out.

    On his quest to redeem himself for the reckoning, Everyman questions what it means to be a human being and soon thanks God for the gifts of his body, for his sense, sensuality, passion, and his conscience.

    Death hounds Everyman

    Wealth, poverty and chaos

    He is confronted by scenes from his life as well as weird encounters with abstract notions of wealth, poverty and chaos.

    In addition to Ejiofor and Crowley, the outstanding cast undergo miraculous transformations during the play, with great performances from Philip Martin Brown (Father), Paul Bullion, Adam Burton, Michelle Butterly (Sister), Sharon D Clarke (Mother), Amy Griffiths, Nick Holder, Nicholas Karimi, Joshua Lacey, Penny Layden, Ira Mandela Siobhan, Coral Messam, Amanda Minihan, Itxaso Moreno, Jeshaiah Murray, Tumo Reetsang, Kiruna Stamell, Clemmie Sveaas and Joshua Tikare.

    It's a wacky and bizarre surreal journey filled with multimedia projections, constantly shifting between the absurd and the abstract, filled with dialogue, music, songs, and movement.

    It all works exceptionally well and leaves one spellbound, thanks to the magical symbiosis between director Rufus Norris (the National Theatre's new Director) and movement direction by Javier De Frutos, who explores Carol Ann Duffy's narrative to its extreme.

    There's a great documentary feature before the play begins that gives us insight into the creation of the play and the working relationship between director, choreographer, writer and performers.

    Everyman offers a spectacular experience, with imaginative set design is by Ian MacNeil, vibrant costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, effective lighting by Paul Anderson, and idyllic music by William Lyons and sound by Paul Arditti, and you're guaranteed a theatre experience unlike anything you have ever seen before.

    Everyman is a play that resonates well and holds a mirror up to the audience, allowing everyone to experience what Everyman is going through, leaving one with a meaningful and fruitful experience and lots of food for thought about the meaning of life, what the afterlife could hold, and how important it is to make the most of every moment of every day.

    If you are looking for a unique theatrical experience that will rock your world and shake your moral compass, make sure to see Everyman as it only has four screening. Filmed live at the National Theatre in London, it's a rare experience that is as daring and different, as it is thought provoking and emotionally challenging. Don't miss it!

    Chiwetel Ejiofer, Javier De Frutos and Rufus Norris talk about Everyman, working with Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and adapting the play for today:

    For booking information on Everyman, download the Ster-Kinekor App on any Nokia, Samsung Android, iPhone or Blackberry smartphone for updates, news and to make a booking, go to or Follow on Twitter @nouveaubuzz and on Facebook at Cinema Nouveau. For queries, contact Ticketline on 0861 Movies (668 437).

    The discounts and benefits for cardholders of SK Club, Discovery Vitality and Edgars Club loyalty programmes apply for all live theatre productions. Special prices for school and group bookings are also available on request.

    Forthcoming productions from NT Live, to be screened at Cinema Nouveau, include:

    • The Beaux Stratagem by George Farquhar, to be screened from 10 October;
    • Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role in Hamlet, to be screened from 6 November;
    • Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre to be screened from 23 January, 2016; and
    • Shakespeare's As You Like It, to be screened from 16 March, 2016.

    About Daniel Dercksen

    Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit
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