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August 20, 2019

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Coleridge classic now Chinese language musical

THE Chinese version of the musical the “Ancient Mariner” has docked at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center.

Adapted from the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” written by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the English version of the musical was performed on the same stage in 2010 and 2013.

It tells a story of a sailor who has returned from a long sea voyage. He nar­rates his story to three men on their way to a wedding ceremony.

He feels guilty for shooting an alba­tross, which is regarded as an auspicious creature by crew members. Suddenly, the wind stops and the weather gets hot. Dying of thirst, the crew members blame the mariner. Haunted by a bad spirit, they also encounter a ghostly hulk. Eventually, all of the crew members die, one by one, but the mariner lives on. Driven by guilt, he decides to wander the Earth and tell his story and the lesson he has learnt — respect nature.

“We human beings belong to Earth rather than Earth belonging to us,” said director Wang Haiying.

“The harmony between humans and nature should be maintained. Nature is mysterious and respectful. The mariner realizes this after experiencing life and death.”

Without dialogue, the performance is composed of 18 songs. The musical, adopting cabaret — a form of theatrical entertainment featuring music, song, dance and drama, is a great challenge to the six versatile actors.

They sing and act while playing more than 10 musical instruments, includ­ing guitars, saxophones and electronic organs.

Music is the highlight of the show, fea­turing folk, hard rock, psychedelic rock, British rock, jazz, blues, funk, metal, hip-hop, spiritual and a cappella.

“It is a mission impossible but we achieve it,” said Wang. “Music is the best way to communicate. The musical brings audiences to experience the mariner’s story together.”

Date: Through September 8, 7:30pm (Tues­day to Saturday), 2:00pm (Sunday)

Tickets: 180-380 yuan

Tel: 6473-0123

Venue: Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center

Address: 288 Anfu Rd


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