Out of the sea came he

Masquerade Theatre's Rime of the ancient mariner Photo: MYTHRI BABU

Masquerade Theatre's Rime of the ancient mariner Photo: MYTHRI BABU   | Photo Credit: MYTHRI BABU


Masquerade Youth Theatre's production, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, was a memorable rendition of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem

A quiet little room was set up with lights and screens, while 80-odd people crowded in to take their seats, awaiting the show to begin. The scene was serene at Spaces, Besant Nagar, as the first act began, unravelling Masquerade Youth Theatre’s (MYT’s) production, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

The seven-part, 4,000-word poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge outlines the life and adventures of a mariner who sets sail with a crew of 200 towards the South Pole. Struck by calamities, the crew is close to death when an albatross flies to their aid, breaking apart icebergs, clearing storms and giving them sailable weather until the ancient mariner kills the bird. The poem dwells on the fickle-mindedness of men, and the consequences of actions men take, without thorough consideration.

The play, a culmination of MYT’s three-week-long summer workshop for teenagers, was presented by 14 kids who took care of acting, backdrop and music. Directed by Aravind Vyas, it used an interplay of shadow theatre and acting, and stuck to the original poem with minor changes. The production relied heavily on voice modulation that a few actors pulled off commendably, but the shadows were not definitive during the first show.

The idea of splitting the play into ‘off the deck’ (where the present-age mariner narrates his story to a wedding guest), and ‘on the ship’, was novel, and two different actors portrayed the same character in both parts. Depicting the albatross as a shadow was a good idea; but it could have been carried out better. Perhaps more props could’ve been used to make the scenes more believable.

Varun was good as the ancient mariner; he was at his best when he delivered the lines, “The ice was here, the ice was there, the ice was all around.” Among the most memorable scenes was the one in which the devils rolled a dice to claim the lives of the crew, played out wonderfully by Kavipriya and Dheva Dharshini.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 6:09:38 PM |

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