+3 Interview: Albatross

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“The piece was born out of desire to explore the relationship between poetic, language-driven live performance and sophisticated multimedia.”

WHO: Benjamin Evett – Performer & Co-author

WHAT: “The Mariner has wandered the earth for 300 years. Now he draws you to a theatre at the Fringe to share his ghostly tale. This award-winning solo performance, using state of the art multimedia technology, takes off from Coleridge’s masterpiece The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, telling the real story behind the poem – complete with sea battles, storms, ice-bound ships and a mystical seabird that reveals the interconnectedness of all living things. Thrilling, hilarious, terrifying and profound, Albatross speaks urgently about contemporary themes of human indifference and our responsibility to our planet.”

WHERE: Paradise in Augustines (Venue 152)

WHEN: Times vary (95 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

Yes, this our first time in Edinburgh. The show is having it’s U.K. premiere here in Scotland at Paradise Green.

Tell us about your show.

Albatross is a brand new play inspired by The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Not just a recitation of the poem, it leaps off from it and thrusts the Mariner into the modern world, having wandered the earth for 300 years, and addresses both age-old issues of sin and redemption, but also contemporary themes of ecological depredation and our responsibility to our planet and to each other.

Albatross was co-written by Benjamin Evett, an actor based in Boston, Massachusetts, and Matthew Spangler, a San Jose-based playwright, whose adaptation of The Kite Runner has had a very successful run at the Nottingham Playhouse and a national tour in the UK, including at the King Theatre here in Edinburgh.

Albatross premiered last year in Boston, where it won three prestigious awards, including Outstanding Solo Performance and Outstanding Production. It is now enjoying its U.K. premiere at the Fringe, before going on to a production off-Broadway at 59E59 Theatre.

The piece was born out of desire to explore the relationship between poetic, language-driven live performance and sophisticated multimedia in a way that creates an environment in which the story can come to the life for the audience with an intensity that is visceral and immediate.

The piece was directed by Rick Lombardo, who served as Artistic Director of the San Jose Rep for six years – a major regional theatre in the U.S – and is produced by Michael Seiden & The Poets’ Theatre. Michael is a dramaphile and philanthropist from Phoenix, Arizona, while The Poets’ Theatre is a theatre based in Cambridge, Massachusetts devoted to exploring the poetic possibilities of theatre in all its facets.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

Haven’t had much time to see anything, but we really liked Ghost Quartet, which has similar artistic ambitions. It’s haunting, poetic, thought-provoking, and has really strong music and performances.


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