Taking on The Ancient Mariner at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis
Audiences have been flocking to see the Shanty Theatre Company's production of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis.
Image courtesy of Peter Wiles Photography
This fourth summer production by Shanty at the Marine incorporates the fun, the drama, the music and madness that audiences have come to expect from this talented group of young actor / musicians. In the past they have managed to make topics such as the plague and the siege of Lyme Regis entertaining to audiences of all ages.
Many people who enjoy The Ancient Mariner may not realise that this is the first year that the young directors of the Shanty company, Tim Bell and Harry Long, have also been co-directors of the Marine Theatre as well. Tim and Harry took over the running of the theatre about year ago. They feel that, except for the increased workload, the roles complement each other really well. As Tim says, "both Harry and I are from artistic backgrounds, but as directors of the Marine we often find ourselves behind a desk. This is a great chance for us to get back into the rehearsal room. Having spent a year running the Marine now, we also feel we know our audience a lot better and these roles give us opportunities to meet many more Marine Theatre punters face to face".
Previous Shanty summer shows have chosen events with strong Lyme Regis connections. The Ancient Mariner seems a bit different, but Tim disagrees. "All of our previous work has been selected to have a strong resonance with a Lyme Regis audience, and this is no different. Coleridge (who wrote the poem from which the show is adapted) was from just down the road in Ottery St Mary and he wrote about life at sea! There may be one or two Ancient Mariners down by the Cobb if you look hard enough…" He admits that it has not been easy. "A ship, a sea voyage, storms, backbreaking heat, zombies and deserted beaches. The poem takes us to many different locations. It’s our job to try and recreate them inside the Marine Theatre".
Visitors to the Marine Theatre find the auditorium has been transformed, with a large ship in the middle and the audience surrounding it on all four sides. Tim explains, "We’re always looking for inventive ways to use the spaces we play. Having a theatre as beautiful as the Marine has many advantages. The proscenium arch and the music hall feel of the auditorium was perfect for our last show. But when it came to playing host to a boat, the stage was more restrictive. So we decided to do it in the round. It’s a lot more effort but we think with this show it’s paid dividends. The audience feel a lot more like they’re part of the action. The performances become more personal".
If you haven't already seen the show, why not catch if before it finishes on the 25th August? Where else will you see an albatross with a passion for five-a-side football? Tickets are available from the Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre or online from www.marinetheatre.com
Peter Wiles, Peter Wiles Photography
Published on 13/08/2012.