The Ancient Mariner our contemporary: (22nd Feb to 1st March)

This month in each spare minute  I’ve been learning the poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner.  The past week I have been in full rehearsals of the poem and the  past few days the performance, sell out audiences in  the Queen Elizabeth hall at Southbank centre.

 I am The Ancient Mariner in  Rime of The Ancient Mariner.  With fifty or so pupils from Lambeth schools and Bellowhead  who wrote the score   plus  The Pulse Singers from Southbank Centre and  an  adult choir. All on stage beneath a
magnificent set: Exhilarating stuff.   Under the direction of Jude Kelly we unfurled the poem and set sail.

Today is the fourth and final  day of performance and the first day of spring and 1st march there are two shows  one  at 11am and the second at 1.30pm virtually back to back.  But the second show, the final one is where I found the poem.   I felt, as I walked off stage, that I could lift the Southbank Centre with my bare hands and slide it onto the thames and sail her out out, out  into the open sea. 

The show is physically demanding and shattered  I skirted through London to Euston station where I left for Crewe with  a new script in hand.   It is sixty minutes long.  I must learn it for tomorrow night on stage.   Tomorrow  is the first date of the  own man show tour  “Why I don’t Hate White People”.  I arrive at the Ramada Hotel,    check in to my room and fall fast asleep script in hand.

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