Chiwetel Ejiofor in Everyman at the National Theatre

Rufus Norris will direct EVERYMAN, adapted by Carol Ann Duffy, with Chiwetel Ejiofor in the title role, opening in the Olivier Theatre as part of the Travelex £15 Tickets season on 29 April. EVERYMAN will have set designs by Ian MacNeil, costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting by Paul Anderson, choreography and movement direction by Javier De Frutos, music by William Lyons and sound by Paul Arditti.

The cast also includes: Stephen Aintree, Philip Martin Brown(Father), Paul Bullion, Adam Burton, Michelle Butterly(Sister), Sharon D Clarke (Mother), Dermot Crowley (Death), Kate Duchene (God), Amy Griffiths, Nick Holder, Nicholas Karimi, Joshua Lacey, Penny Layden, Ira Mandela Siobhan, Coral Messam, Amanda Minihan, Itxaso Moreno, Kiruna Stamell, and Clemmie Sveaas.  EVERYMAN will be broadcast to cinemas by NT Live on 16 July.

Everyman is successful, popular and riding high when Death comes calling. He 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. But Death is close behind, and time is running out.

One of the great primal, spiritual myths, Everyman asks whether it is only in death that we can understand our lives. A cornerstone of English drama since the 15th century, this new production has words by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate, and movement by Javier De Frutos.



Carol Ann Duffy is Professor and Creative Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. She was appointed Poet Laureate in 2009. Her poetry has received many awards, including the Signal Prize for Children’s Verse, the Whitbread, Forward and T. S. Eliot Prizes, and the Lannan and E. M. Forster Prize in America. In 2011The Bees won the Costa Poetry Award, and in 2012 she won the PEN Pinter Prize.

Chiwetel Ejiofor returns to the National – where he last appeared in 2000 as Romeo, Peer Gynt, and in Blue/Orange, receiving the Evening Standard Best Newcomer Award – to play the title role. His many film and TV performances since then include 12 Years A Slave for which he won the BAFTA Award for Leading Actor and received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations; A Season in the Congo, Half of a Yellow Sun, 2012, The Shadow Line, Dancing on the Edge, Tsunami: the Aftermath, Kinky Boots and Dirty Pretty Things (Independent Film Award for Best Actor). Theatre includes The Seagull (Royal Court) and the title role in Othello at the Donmar, for which he won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor.

Rufus Norris’ productions for the National include Behind the Beautiful Forevers, The Amen Corner, Table, London Road, Death and the King’s Horseman and Market Boy. His other work includes Feast, Vernon God Little and Tintin for the Young Vic; the Olivier Award-winning Cabaret in the West End and on tour; Les Liaisons Dangereuses on Broadway; and Festen at the Almeida, West End and New York. Screen work includes Broken, which won the British Independent Film Award for Best Film, and the film of London Road which will be released later this year.

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