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.