The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge; a Bath Spa University production directed by John Ward at Burdall’s Yard, Bath, 14th – 16th December at 7.30pm.

Well, the Ancient Mariner may stoppeth one in three at a wedding but this production ought to stoppeth many more.

It’s a wonderfully imaginative retelling of Coleridge’s tortuous tale, well acted with atmospheric lighting and sound, plus great choreography.

Perhaps you’re not familiar with this long narrative poem of the doomed sea voyage; going relatively well in the Antarctic until the mariner shoots an albatross.

I’ve never quite understood why he shot the bird but he certainly lives to regret it.

Instead of reciting the poem, we see the wedding in full swing (disco style) as the guest is taken aside by the sailor (gaunt, bearded and effective Timothy Newton) for him to relate his voyage of horror.

Thus it becomes a play with music and wonderfully effective it is.

Whether you know The Rime or not you’ll be gripped by cast aboard the ill-fated vessel.

Deserves a wide audience at this quirky venue.


Philip Horton