According to reports, Fiona Shaw will be performing Samuel Taylor Coleridge's narrative poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in January. She will be joined by dancer, Daniel Hay-Gordon. It will be directed by Phylida Lloyd (Donmar's Julius Caesar) with choreography by Kim Brandstrup of ARC Dance.
It's not the first time the Irish actress has committed a long poem to memory. In 1997, she gave an acclaimed 37-minute recital of TS Eliot's The Waste Land at Wilton's Music Hall; it was revived in 2010 under the direction of her long-term collaborator Deborah Warner. The pair also teamed up for last year's Peace Camp, a travelling installation of love poems for which Shaw recorded WB Yeats' When You Are Old alongside novelist Edna O'Brien.
Coleridge's 1798 poem features a newly returned sailor telling guests at a wedding of his ill-starred last voyage, during which he encounters the figure of Death and loses all of his crew after being blown off course. It is believed to have been inspired by the real-life sailor Simon Hatley, who had been lost at sea and, like Coleridge's mariner, shot down a black albatross from deck.