So I was feeling very happy with myself recently. I’d been looking at what was on at the local theatres and saw that Everyman was being shown at the Buxton Opera House, and it was staring none other than Chiwetel Ejiofor! How cool! A London production on tour with a massive actor whom I think is awesome (even if I struggle to pronounce his name) playing the lead and all this just down the road from me. To top it all, tickets were only £15 a pop!
RESULT! You simply couldn’t get any better than that.
Worthy of note here; I am a man and as such don’t do much research into things and small print/details are not my strong point. Never ask for directions and Never read the instructions.
So we arrived on the evening of the performance and on route I had looked at the tickets (which although I had had for months, I hadn’t looked at at all) and realised it wasn’t allocated seating (this was the first indication that something wasn’t quite right) – how odd for a large theatre production! We walked into the Opera house to find out the performance wasn’t actually in the Opera House, but instead in the ‘Garden Pavilion’ (which it did actually say on the ticket but was something I hadn’t registered). Still – that sound like it could be quite cool! We strode around the corner to that entrance and waited for the doors to be opened with a handful of others (Second indication something was amiss: not many people here….). The Garden Pavilion turns out to be a smaller stage but still a pleasant little venue – I was actually initially quite excited because small theatres can be awesome. However we noticed that a large project screen was right at the front and centre of the stage. How very odd.
We sat our selves down not in the ‘stalls’ (loose chairs in front of the stage) but instead a couple of rows up in the Theatre – so we could look over peoples head but still be quite close. We then sat back and waited.
The lights went down, the crowd hushed, the projection screen came alight and started playing a intro piece by Ade adepitan. Cue couple behind us whispering to each other in an incredulous tone “Are we watching a movie???”
And yes, it turns out we were, kinda.
The National Theatre Live broadcasts live performances to theatres around the UK – we were to watch that evenings performance of Everyman in BUXTON as it happened live in the National Theatre in LONDON.
We did have a chuckle about this as it dawned on us what we were doing, however, it doesn’t take long before you forget about the screen and very quickly get immersed in the play. There were points in the play where I wished we had been in the theatre – during a couple of effects scenes that just didn’t translate as well over the screen (wind and rain) but those couple of niggles apart – it was still a great experience and I am looking forward to going along to more – Hamlet is next on the list (yes, the sold out one with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead).
So what was Everyman about:
A man who at 40 is forced to face his mortality and weigh up his life. Not a bad man, just a man. A man who enjoyed his life and lived comfortably. The question is; in the end, is that enough?
A man very much like me whose answers would be very much like mine. All very close to home and very thought provoking.
If you get a chance to go and see it – I would thoroughly recommend you do.
#everyman #ntlive #nationaltheatre