Mind Blowingly Good, Miracle's Everyman Zings Along
Miracle Theatre’s production of Carol Ann Duffy’s modern revival of Everyman, a 16th Century morality play, is undeniably the much loved Cornish company’s finest hour.
First, let’s look at the newly created seating arrangements as the Fleapit is very much part of the experience. Conceived by Bill Scott, the much talked about construction is a work of art in itself, cosy and colourful with a view to separating the audience into small Covid safe groups. The Jacobean style tent with viewing ‘windows’ and curtains creates a fascinating voyeuristic effect, although close to the performers the audience also feels slightly removed from them. It is easy to imagine early, less sophisticated, audiences lobbing rotten veg if they disapproved of a performance and sometimes even if they did!
Performed in the round we meet Ev living his selfish, hedonistic lifestyle to the max at a music festival where he indulges his taste for booze and hardcore drugs. We also meet God clearing up the post festival waste before sending Death to deliver the ‘your days are numbered’ message to a distraught Ev. Convinced he is too young to die he believes he deserves much more from life and sets about trying to save himself. With redemption in mind he calls upon his long neglected family to speak up for him as he faces his last days on Earth. Receiving short shrift and some home truths from his sister, who he left behind to be full time carer for their parents, Ev is forced to confront, and admit to, his 40 wasted years as he spirals into a sobbing, broken man desperately pleading for mercy and more time.
Under Director Kyla Goodey’s skilful and imaginative guidance, Everyman positively zings along barely pausing for breath. The cast are perfection, Ev is brilliantly played by Dean Rehman who has previously worked in Cornwall with Trifle Gathering and Wildworks, Charlotte Merriam and Laura Cairns both come from superb backgrounds in theatre and television, but are new to Cornish theatre audiences; playing a variety of terrific quick change roles with style and a certain amount of fun they both turn in lovely performances – their comic timing and swivel chair choreography is priceless. Well known and popular local actor Giles King (Kneehigh, Wildworks and Cornish film sensation BAIT) plays Death with panache and a mischievous twinkle as he sails around the set on a Segway. Multi talented musician Louis King steps away from his role as Technical Manager when he pops up to perform live music with Giles in the final scene.
There is so much to Everyman with wonderful music and sound design by Dom Coyote, superb lighting and video footage by Sarah Readman and a long list of behind the scenes heroes who have worked on the Fleapit and Everyman.
Every so often a terrific theatre company produces work above and beyond anything they’ve given us before, Everyman is Miracle’s masterpiece, mind blowingly good from start to finish.
Everyman’s current run ends on Sunday 17th October in St. Ives, but this cannot be the end of the line for this amazing show – it deserves to tour and tour some more. Here’s hoping there is a magic money tree somewhere to send Miracle’s famous pink van back on the road to transport Everyman everywhere.