Fiona Shaw Will Bring Rime of the Ancient Mariner to BAM
By Adam Hetrick
Olivier Award-winning actress Fiona Shaw, who recently appeared on Broadway in The Testament of Mary, will bring The Rime of the Ancient Mariner to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in December as part of the Next Wave Festival.
Shaw premiered Samuel Taylor Coleridge's epic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner at London's Old Vic Tunnels in January. The 45-minute piece will have its American premiere Dec. 10-22 at BAM. Tony Award nominee Phyllida Lloyd (Mary Stuart, Mamma Mia!) directs.
Here's how it's billed: "Like an actor possessed, the fiery Shaw inhabits the very marrow of this epic 18th-century poem, bounding across the stage while transforming Coleridge's luminous language into an exhilarating lived experience. In the icy Antarctic, a ship is lost at sea. And when a mariner shoots a bird thought to be the crew's salvation, his macabre, guilt-inducing fate—the veritable 'albatross around the neck'—is decided. Accompanied by dancer Daniel Hay Gordon, who offers interpretive counterpoint throughout, Shaw skirts a whirlpool, braves a crew of corpses, and rolls Death's dice with poetic abandon, taking us to hell and back."
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner has choreography by Kim Brandstrup. The design team also includes Mel Mercier (music), Jean Kalman (lighting design) and Chloe Obolensky (set design).
Shaw last appeared at BAM in John Gabriel Borkman. Her numerous credits include Medea, Happy Days, Mother Courage, Hedda Galber, The Good Person of Sichuan and The Waste Land.
She most recently appeared in the Broadway premiere of Colm Tóibín's solo work The Testament of Mary, which imagines the mother of Christ in the days after his crucifixion. The engagement proved short-lived and closed May 5 at the Walter Kerr Theatre after 16 regular performances.
BAM will announce its full slate of Next Wave Festival programming May 21. Visit BAM.org.
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