And Finally Artist News

Marianne Faithfull and Iggy Pop among celebrities contributing to new Ancient Mariner reading

By | Published on Monday 20 April 2020

Iggy Pop

Marianne Faithfull and Iggy Pop are among a group of 40 celebrities who have contributed to a new reading of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s eighteenth century poem ‘The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner’. It’s a project launched by the University Of Plymouth’s Arts Institute.

The Ancient Mariner Big Read launched on Saturday, with the first in a series of daily readings delivered by Jeremy Irons. This has so far been followed by Jeanette Winterson and Samuel West, with the 150 verse poem set to be divided into 40 parts.

As well as a recognisable voice delivering each section, every reading is complemented with sound design and a piece of visual art.

Three years in the making, the project was conceived to highlight the poem’s ecological message, but is coincidentally relevant to the COVID-19 lockdown too, with its exploration of loneliness and isolation.

“Still vitally relevant today, it is no coincidence, perhaps, that this poem is the first great work of English literature to speak to isolation and loneliness – and the possibility of redemption if we mend our ways”, says the website for the project.

Daily additions to the poem will appear online through to the end of May. Listen to the first here: