The Summoning of Everyman
by Les Ellison
Les Ellison’s plays enact Christian themes for the modern world and 'The Summoning of Everyman' takes the well-known medieval play and re-imagines what we understand by judgment.
Everyman, a successful business man and fitness freak, is visited by Death who informs him that he must die that day and, in order to avoid damnation, he must find someone who will speak on his behalf. Despite his best efforts to canvas his business partners, friends and relatives, he discovers that only Good Deeds is able to do this.
The dialogue is modern, but Death speaks in rhyming couplets, preserving continuity with the original and also a sense of awe. Lasting about an hour, 'Everyman' can be performed throughout the year, but speeches at the beginning and end relate the action to the Passiontide narratives and so make it very suitable for Easter.
With only minor changes to the text and, where necessary, to the name of the role, each of the eleven characters can be played by a male or a female actor. If necessary, they can be played by as few as six actors.