12-13 April 2014
Reviewed by Ann Durrell
This production by the Square Peg Circus company is based on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
On entering the theatre, the stage had been set up with tall scaffolding and posts like the mast of a boat, complete with a sleeping sailor at the base. When the lights are dropped, the company enter the stage performing various acrobatics and welcome the audience. They then begin their adaptation of The Rime but rather than having a narrative of the entire poem, we are taken through the events told by the mariner in acrobatics, song, dance and poetry.
The performers were all fantastic, aside from tumbling and throws one of the first examples of this we saw was a three of the cast climbing on each others shoulders to create a human tower. There was also balancing act, tightrope walking across the top of the ships sails, a feat in itself but more so when the cast member was also singing. The ariel dancing both on rope and on silks were so well executed that on several occasions there were sharp intakes of breath from the audience who were in wonder how they managed not too fall. For someone who is not keen on heights there were some real mouth open in astonishment moments.
Throughout the 65 minutes run time the only occasion I was not glued too the stage was during the aspects in contemporary dance. I did not really feel that these added anything to the performance and in parts were too long.
I would say that you do not need to particularly know The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in its entirety but reading the summary first would give you a better understanding of this adaptation.
Overall it is an energetic and well put together which I enjoyed.
Square Peg is touring the UK with Rime, for more details visit wearesquare.co.uk/rime-4.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | Box Office 0843 208 6000