Everyman / National Theatre

Submitted By Emilie Chen


The play
A contemporary adaption of a 15th Century moral tale, Everyman tells the story of a man’s frantic search for someone to speak on his behalf when God sends Death on Earth to find him.

The show opened in the National Theatre biggest auditorium (1127 seats) in 2015 and was broadcast live in cinemas with National Theatre Live.

The background
It was director Rufus Norris first production after he was announced as the new artistic director of the National Theatre, and it felt important to mark the institution' change of leadership.

The Challenge
Carol Ann Duffy adaptation wasn't ready when I got briefed, so I only had the 15th Century text and Rufus' notes to work from.

Also Chiwetel Ejiofor casting wasn't confirmed in time for the shoot, which meant we had to create two phases for the campaign.

I was struck by how epic and timeless the play felt and came up with the idea to represent God as a giant finger coming from the sky, pointing at our unsuspecting hero.

Rufus asked to ground the image in the contemporary world so we shot on location with photographer Simon Sorted, and placed the giant finger on the wall behind our model in post-production, like a piece of street art.

The installation
I had pitched the idea of a life-size version of the finger on the National Theatre, and it went up on the Temporary Theatre just in time for the show opening. The installation went viral, with people sharing their pictures on social media channels under the hashtag Iameveryman, and a page in Time Out London 2015 review of the year issue.


To promote a new production of the play Everyman at the National Theatre and the following broadcast in cinemas.


National Theatre


National Theatre in-house studio











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