Rufus Norris is able to tap so many deep, personal, convicting resources with the production of everyman, as deep as the fear Chiwetel Ejiofor feel when he realized his life is about to change towards an ending here on earth. If that name sounds familiar it should. As the lead character in 12 Years a Slave Ejiofor was amazing and heartfelt, he sent chills through your soul. He does the same on stage here but for different reasons.
It is vital to revisit the core reason we live this life, we are present in this life, and the meaning of this life. Some find meaning in possession, worldly good, riches, money, drugs, alcohol, and spending their life full of gluttony and giving little to nothing back to those around them. They call it living. Yet, they often forget that living for others is a hundred times worse, a hundred degrees more difficult, and volumes deeper to struggle for existence. Rufus Norris and takes his talents from Behind the Beautiful Forevers, is able to take Carol Duffy’s deep message and script, and reminds us from that very production as well as through this one, that life is what we make of it. Too many times people try to make amends for gluttony and selfishness when it is too late, and Everyman, as he is called, does a superb job of showing what belongs in the world can’t be taken with us.
It is easy to take pleasure in the aspects of life that are shallow and on the surface pleasurable. Yet, often, it is soul-searching that brings aspects of individuals to realize what is skin deep, even soul deep, is what matters more when you are alone and think about your life and it’s role among others – and as a result, how your life comes to be defined. It is all around us, many who love the luxuries that never scratch the meaning of heart, soul, and mind, and yet these are the most precious and only realized by those that want to find and treasure those riches, opposed to the riches that can be consumed, bought, sold, and coveted. Sound like a sermon? So it goes in everyman and yet, the truth of how rich or how superficial one’s life can be is behind every line and scene.
Yet, I find myself leaving this production thankful for having so many things placed in front of my eyes, and ultimately, in front of my heart, and the conviction of what I want my life to be, at the end or when the end comes for me, and am grateful for this. Some reach this understanding of their life through again, drugs, alcohol, possessions, the temporary things of life, and yet, I am lucky to have close friends that have always looked for more, the things that go skin and soul deep. This helps me to be a better person and God (literally) knows, I have a LONG way to go to make changes. Everyman is 100% on cue in letting you realize this through brilliant lines, modern approaches to who death is, and an even more surprising look at who God is. Brilliant.