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Edinburgh Fringe Festival Reviews

"This seraph-band, each waved his hand No voice did they impart"

'This seraph-band, each waved his hand

No voice did they impart'

64 seconds MP3 sample (497k)


"A compelling piece of theatre. Richard Hill's music has thrilling moments. The albatross is simply and brilliantly indicated with an old white straightjacket. Their production reminded me of how good a poem 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' is; a popular piece of art with a deeply serious message."

Paul Allen


"Crack & Growl weave the tale of the Mariner's experiences with remarkable fluidity, using operatic songs, creative dance movement and original ambient music. The narrative style of Coleridge's lyrical ballad lends itself well to the theatre and this highly professional theatrical performance achieves fully both the horror and the grace of the poet's hallucinatory vision. Ethereal harmonies and phantasmagorical lighting aid to create a multi-dimensional tapestry.

A metamorphosing chorus of six provide the visual and atmospheric background, functioning as albatross, crew and super-natural beings, as the haunting, haunted Mariner leads the Wedding Guest through his other worldly tale. The two gradually become as one as the performance glides towards its cathartic conclusions, leaving the Wedding Guest "a sadder and wiser man" and finally releasing the Mariner from his curse.

This production leaves the audience as spellbound as the protagonists, marvelling at its creativity, its startling originality and sensitive realisation of the magical humanity of Coleridge's parable. Serenely dynamic; the most fulfilling production I have seen so far this year."

Leila Ford


"You can hear this classic parable, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', told in a combination of speech and opera by the Crack & Grown theatre company, as entrancing today as ever. Stunning use of harmonies and dance create a wonderfully atmospheric interpretation of the mariner's tale as he leads the wedding guest, in effect the audience, through a haunting and ethereal landscape."

Robert Schimmel


"Dazzlingly produced version of Coleridge's poem. Formidable skills of the international cast . . sinister lighting and bouncy choreography. Richard Hill's skeletal score is close to the piece's dramatic soul. A showcase of theatrical skills."

Tom Morris

THE LIST "This interpretation of Coleridge's epic poem mixes the spoken word, operatic singing and an ambient sound track with impressive physical theatre. Inventive and innovative, it is a most welcome working, which brings to life the ghostly fable of treachery, retribution and the death of an albatross by illumination of the wonderful poetry rather than by its literal representation."

Thom Dibdin

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