It Seems Like Everyman Is Musical


Everyman, Anonymous

Literary Criticism--EL312

On Everyman living without fear.
Where art thou, Death, thou mighty messenger?

Just as I read this about a year and a half ago, I felt just a little bit confused when I watched it Friday night. I believe that SHU theatre really tried the best to make this play relevant to people (especially Christians) today. The Christian, mostly Catholic overtones, rubbed off in the SHU version from the original version, nevetheless I found it interesting that they made this short morality play to a long morality musical. I noticed that the songs were more contemporary than the speech itself.

I remember reading in Iser that some of the current criticism and revisons of literature is "single-minded". They specifically made to reach the new audience, but I wonder if by doing that they lost some of the messages in the play. I doubt it, but that is the risk you take when you make adaptions to original material. I have a question for you:

If you've seen SHU version of Everyman, do you think they lost something when they made it into a musical or do you think they only made it more relevant to today?


Kevin, I think that they only made it more accessible to viewers of today. While I'm usually against adaptations (for various reasons, some of which stem from my own high school experiences in musical productions), I found this one to make the bridge between then and now a smooth transition that shows human nature hasn't changed much over the years.

I do think that they did lose the originality of the play; however, in the pamphlet they handed out in the theatre is told us that the time was in the present. So a modernized play of EVERYMAN was easier to comprehend.
I did notice that the language was not modern.
The modern adaptation this play was given was relevant, but I did dislike the musical aspect of it.

I have yet to see the play, but from reading it and hearing your experiences, I think that having modern music is extremely helpful in further allowing us to relate and understand the play.