Fiona Shaw stars in this production of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's tale of penance paid
“Water, water everywhere.” Fiona Shaw delivers a masterful performance of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s eerie tale of penance paid on the high seas. Like an actor possessed, the fiery Shaw inhabits the very marrow of this epic 18th-century poem, bounding across the stage while transforming Coleridge’s luminous language into an exhilarating lived experience.
In the icy Antarctic, a ship is lost at sea. And when a mariner shoots a bird thought to be the crew’s salvation, his macabre, guilt-inducing fate—the veritable “albatross around the neck”—is decided. Accompanied by dancer Daniel Hay Gordon, who offers interpretive counterpoint throughout, Shaw skirts a whirlpool, braves a crew of corpses, and rolls Death’s dice with poetic abandon, taking us to hell and back.
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd