November 12, 2016

The Rime of the Modern Mariner

No, you read that right. The Rime of the Modern Mariner. What you're thinking of (because it sounds kinda wrong doesn't it?) is Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a poem by Coleridge.* If you haven't read it, that's cool I haven't either, it's not a prerequisite to enjoying this play. Though when the albatross died it reminded me of a scene in Serenity and I clicked.

In the modern version he isn't a mariner, he's a plastics engineer. How appropriate that he ends up floating in a sea polluted with the plastics he creates. You might have guessed that conservation plays a big part and you'd be right. But it's never actually mentioned, it's quite subtle. Well, as subtle as all the scenery and props being made from plastic can make it.

There are only five cast members, the "mariner" and four others who act as chorus, sometimes his friends, sometimes women he is trying to pick up, some times props. Their communication is excellent; managing to create a moving mass of bodies without any eye contact. Although it starts slow the centre is supremely powerful melding song and fog and people and yes, plastic into something that leaves you breathless. I would see the show for the central piece alone, it's a beautiful performance.

Please note that this show is longer than most Bats performances, coming in at 90 minutes instead of the usual 60. The price reflects this but I think it's well worth it.

Performances: 10 - 26 November, 8pm
Tickets: $25

* Have you ever heard the line: "Water, water, every where but not a drop to drink"? It's a misquote from the poem.

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