Plays by Jo Clifford

Every One

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Jo Clifford's Every One is a modern-day reimagining of the 15th-century morality play Everyman, exploring the meaning of death and bereavement at a deeply personal level. It was first performed at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, on 19 March 2010. It was revived in a new production (with some minor textual changes) by Chris Goode & Company at the Battersea Arts Centre, London, on 2 March 2016.

The play unfolds as its principal characters – Mary, her husband Joe, her children Mazz and Kevin, and her Mother – speak in direct address to the audience, recounting (and at times re-enacting) their experience of Mary's sudden, unexpected stroke and subsequent death, together with the emotional devastation that ensued, and their gradual coming to terms with their loss.

In a note accompanying the published script, 'Before You Start to Read', Clifford states that the play 'came from the death of my wife, Susie, in February 2005', and from undergoing a subsequent heart-bypass operation. 'I became aware of how incompetent our culture is when it comes to the universal fact of death.'

The Royal Lyceum premiere was directed by Mark Thomson and designed by Francis O’Connor, with Kathryn Howden as Mary, Jonathan Hackett as Joe, Jenny Hulse as Mazz, Kyle McPhail as Kevin, Tina Gray as Mother and Liam Brennan as Man.

The 2016 Battersea Arts Centre production was directed by Chris Goode and designed by Naomi Dawson, with Angela Clerkin as Mary, Michael Fenton Stevens as Joe, Nicola Weston as Mazz, Nick Finegan as Kevin, Eileen Nicholas as Mother and Nigel Barrett as Man.

Jo Clifford (formerly known as John Clifford) is an award-winning playwright, translator, poet and performer, who has also worked as a journalist and academic. She was instrumental in establishing the reputation of the Traverse Theatre Company in the 1980s.
She is the author of about eighty plays, many of which have been performed all over the world. They include: Losing Venice, Every One, Faust and The Tree of Knowledge. Her adaptation of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations makes her the first openly transgendered woman playwright to have had a play on in London’s West End.