An admirable theatrical account of the epic poem of an accursed admiral, Little Eggs production of THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER is an exemplary piece of naive theatre presented by a talented ensemble.
The performance begins with the assembled crew bedecked in wet weather gear, a snapshot of souls at sea who embody the tale that will unfold, in story telling as slick as their attire.
First words uttered are the opening stanzas of the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, but this is no mere recitation of the piece but a fully realised physical and visual depiction of the narrative.
Spoken word, song, music, stylised movement, soundscape, controlled and practical lighting are all employed to thrilling effect. The storm blast comes, tyrannous and strong, with a ship hitting the fan, a model vessel tossed on waves of hands, torsos tensed against the tempest. The imagery is rich and robust.
The rhythms of the source material are beautifully rendered and humour finds safe harbour in shanty and shipboard antics. Horn pipes are eschewed for kazoo, ukulele for fiddle, the human voice, both solo and in choir, depicting the despair of the doldrums and the ebullience of the breeze.
Nine performers play four times fifty souls, including the man who shot the albatross and brought on all their woe, nine performers all at one to heave ho one fine show.
Nicholas Papademetriou is the titular Ancient Mariner, buoyed by the cast of the crew comprising Matthew Lee, Lloyd Allison Young, Nicole Pingon, Callan Purcell, Annie Stafford, Grace Stamnas, Mike Ugo and Laura Wilson.
THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER as devised by the company is an elegantly simple, splendidly staged adaptation of a classic of English literature, a modern elegy for the environment, with a compassion as hungry as the sea.
Little Eggs and Jack Rabbit Theatre presents
THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
Director: Julia Robertson
Producer: Kendra Murphy
Design: Nick Fry
Musical advisor: Oliver Shermacher
Head Technician: Chris Howell
Stage Manager: Chris Starnawski
3 April – 13 April
KXT – Level 4, Bordello Room