Midcoast audiences will soon be offered an extraordinary opportunity to experience John Farrell, principal in Maine’s groundbreaking Figures of Speech Theatre, reciting from memory “Four Quartets,” a suite of poems often considered T.S. Eliot’s greatest. The performance, part of Figures of Speech Theatre’s 2018 Maine Library Tour, is being co-presented by Heartwood Theater and Skidompha Library.
First premiered at Heartwood in 2011, with permission — rarely granted — from Eliot’s estate, Farrell’s recitation of “Four Quartets” affords audiences an opportunity to immerse themselves in 1,000 lines of poetry exploring humankind’s relationship with time and with experience, itself.
“Unlike encountering the poems in a book,” Farrell says, “hearing them recited out loud gives people a chance to absorb a complex and nuanced work in a very direct way. At the same time, I bring an actor's sensibility to the text and a commitment to delivering the poems in a way that allows the poetry to speak for itself.”
Eliot completed “Four Quartets” in 1941, as Britain slid into the abyss of World War II, and he feared that civilization itself might perish in the coming years. Writing at the height of his artistic powers, Eliot packed into the suite of poems a summation of his views on poetry and art, on mystical experience, and on the never-ceasing search for the divine.
Skidompha's atrium held the breathtaking premiere performance, where audiences will again enjoy this unique experience on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28 and 29, respectively. Doors will open at 7 p.m. for the 7:30 performance. Tickets are $10 and available only at the door (limited seating) - no advanced ticket sales. An informal conversation with John Farrell will follow. Find full details at www.heartwoodtheater.org