The Poetry Circus Comes to Town

Saturday 1 March 2014

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Square Peg: photo credit Anna Batchelor

In past years StAnza has staged some unlikely collaborations between poetry and diverse art forms, artists and designers. Earlier programmes have included visual artists, photographers, musicians, dancers, actors and film makers. For 2013 the festival included fashion models wearing Dutch poetry dresses. This year we're pushing the boundaries even further with our opening night show to include acrobats. Rime is a modern retelling of Samual Taylor Coleridge's classic poem 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' retold via contemporary circus and modern dance. Intrigued? So were we, so we asked Tomos James, one of the performers and an associate director of the show to explain how this came about, and this is what he said:

"I love reading the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. It's a nightmare, a dream, a ghost ship, a riddle, a nautical time machine, a guilt trip, and a thrill!

"I love Rime because of the rhyming, the rocking motion, the momentum of the words. This energy makes it a great poem to turn into circus. The phrases roll off the page, we rhyme and repeat with our bodies, throw out glimpses of inner life, we play with the metaphors, and embrace the fantastical.

"In our show, we are all invited to board the Mariner's ship. We'll share his joy, guilt, thirst, we'll touch death's veil, we'll sail with the spirits, and perhaps, like the bewildered wedding guest in the poem, be left wondering WHY he shot that albatross?"

Come along on Wednesday 5th March at 7.30pm to see his vision brought to the StAnza stage. Ticket are £7.50/5.50 and there's information on the show and on how to book at