Jeremy Irons Reads TS Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’

BBC Radio 4 iPlayer – link to the original recording

Click below to listen to the full audio:

Audio property of BBC Radio. No copyright infringement intended.

The text of ‘Four Quartets’ may be found HERE.

Jeremy Irons reads Four Quartets by T.S.Eliot.

Four Quartets is the culminating achievement of T.S. Eliot’s career as a poet. While containing some of the most musical and unforgettable passages in twentieth-century poetry, its four parts, ‘Burnt Norton’, ‘East Coker’, ‘The Dry Salvages’ and ‘Little Gidding’, present a rigorous meditation on the spiritual, philosophical and personal themes which preoccupied the author. It was the way in which a private voice was heard to speak for the concerns of an entire generation, in the midst of war and doubt, that confirmed it as an enduring masterpiece.

With an introduction by Michael Symmons Roberts, Lord David Alton and Gail McDonald.

jeremy irons four quartets bbc radio 4

Jeremy Irons at the 2013 Hay Festival

Jeremy Irons read Four Quartets by TS Eliot on Saturday 1 June.  He introduced a screening of Trashed and also was a part of the Poetry of the Great War readings on Sunday 2 June.

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Click HERE for audio of Jeremy Irons, Sinead Cusack and Rupert Evans reading The Poetry of the Great War. The actors read Josephine Hart’s programme featuring the work of Owen, Yeats, Sassoon and many others. Introduced by Francine Stock.
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Jeremy Irons on his love for TS Eliot – from The Telegraph

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Here are some photos and feedback from the weekend (Click on the thumbnails for larger images):

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Jeremy Irons Reads TS Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ BBC Radio 4

Complete audio of The Waste Land, read by Jeremy Irons and Eileen Atkins…

Click on the audio player below:

Source

Friday 30 March 2012

2:15 – 3:00 p.m. (GMT) on BBC Radio 4

Radio Times review by: Laurence Joyce

Thank heavens for Ezra Pound! Without his artistic intervention TS Eliot’s modernist poetic masterpiece would have been called He Do the Police in Different Voices instead of The Waste Land. This we learn in the introductory contributions from the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Jackie Kay, Matthew Hollis and Sean O’Brien that set Eliot’s complex and multi-layered work in its literary and historical context.

But it is the reading of the text itself by Jeremy Irons and Eileen Atkins that is most enlightening for anyone who has ever struggled to catch Eliot’s drift. Their measured delivery, never overdone, captures the poem’s bleak emotional landscape, breathing life into its panoramic sweep and mundane detail, with Atkins chillingly perfect in Death by Water.

 

About this programme

Eileen Atkins and Jeremy Irons read the poem by TS Eliot, featuring an introduction by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Jackie Kay, Matthew Hollis and Sean O’Brien. The author’s seminal work is arguably one of the most influential of the 20th century, and is split into five parts – The Burial of the Dead, A Game of Chess, The Fire Sermon, Death by Water and What the Thunder Said.

Cast and crew

Cast

Reader
Eileen Atkins
Reader
Jeremy Irons
Contributor
Rowan Williams
Contributor
Jackie Kay
Contributor
Matthew Hollis
Contributor
Sean O’Brien

Crew

Producer
Susan Roberts
Writer
TS Eliot

 

 

Photos and more from the US/UK Exchange

Photo by Ben Carpenter

Photo by Ben Carpenter

Photo by Ben Carpenter

At the Old Vic New Voices US/UK Exchange launch on 23 February, Jeremy Irons read from TS Eliot’s Four Quartets .

Many thanks to Corinne Furness, who attended the launch, for this account of the event:

“Jeremy Irons was introduced at the event as representing the T S Eliot foundation (who are sponsoring the exchange) who had asked him to read some of Eliot’s work. He was clean shaven and had his trousers tucked into a pair of boots!

Before he did the reading he told a story about going to New York for the first time: He was filming on a boat on the way back from New York but it meant he had a few days in New York. He was walking down Madison Avenue and asked someone where Fifth Avenue was – the man replied ‘what do you think I am – an information bureau?’ which he thought was a brilliant line (Only Jeremy got the punch line of that wrong to start with saying ‘what do you think I am – an employment agency?’ and then joked that he was thinking ahead of himself). He then said he went into a shop and there was a man talking as he bought a cigar and all that Jeremy could think was ‘everyone here talks like they’re in a movie’ and, subsequently, that for a long time whenever he had to do an American accent he thought he sounded like he was in a movie and that there was something disingenuous about it.

He then went on to say that he’d read Eliot’s poetry before with Eliot’s widow Valerie and that he ‘must have done something right’ as they seemed to like it. He then read from the first section of Four Quartets (‘Burnt Norton’, part 3) before saying that he had to leave to go rehearse!”

According to the Old Vic New Voices twitter feed, over 400 people were in attendance at the launch.

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Jeremy Irons part of TS Eliot US/UK Exchange at Old Vic

Jeremy Irons and James Earl Jones have been confirmed as guests for the 2010 TS Eliot US/UK Exchange programme for the Old Vic New Voices.

More details will soon be available at http://www.oldvictheatre.com/ovnv.php

The New Voices Club is a year-round professional development programme for actors, directors, writers and producers, aged 18-25, living in London. We also run a sister programme in New York, the New Voices Network, for 21 to 30 year old practitioners. Members must demonstrate an exceptional talent, a deep commitment to a career in theatre and a passion for peer collaboration.

The Club and Network offer support for members to realise projects that they are passionate about, and host a dynamic series of workshops, talks and networking events.

The annual highlight is our T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange – an expansion of our old Exchange program, that now offers 50 British and 50 American artists the chance to explore theatrical life on the opposite side of the Atlantic.

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At the Old Vic New Voices US/UK Exchange launch on 23 February, Jeremy Irons read from TS Eliot’s Four Quartets .

Many thanks to Corinne Furness, who attended the launch, for this account of the event:

“Jeremy Irons was introduced at the event as representing the T S Eliot foundation (who are sponsoring the exchange) who had asked him to read some of Eliot’s work. He was clean shaven and had his trousers tucked into a pair of boots!

Before he did the reading he told a story about going to New York for the first time: He was filming on a boat on the way back from New York but it meant he had a few days in New York. He was walking down Madison Avenue and asked someone where Fifth Avenue was – the man replied ‘what do you think I am – an information bureau?’ which he thought was a brilliant line (Only Jeremy got the punch line of that wrong to start with saying ‘what do you think I am – an employment agency?’ and then joked that he was thinking ahead of himself). He then said he went into a shop and there was a man talking as he bought a cigar and all that Jeremy could think was ‘everyone here talks like they’re in a movie’ and, subsequently, that for a long time whenever he had to do an American accent he thought he sounded like he was in a movie and that there was something disingenuous about it.

He then went on to say that he’d read Eliot’s poetry before with Eliot’s widow Valerie and that he ‘must have done something right’ as they seemed to like it. He then read from the first section of Four Quartets (‘Burnt Norton’, part 3) before saying that he had to leave to go rehearse!”

According to the Old Vic New Voices twitter feed, over 400 people were in attendance at the launch.

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UPDATED – Jeremy Irons at TS Eliot poetry reading event

heaney-etc-415x275

TS Eliot widow exults in his poetry reading


more about “Jeremy Irons at Josephine Hart Poetry…“, posted with vodpod

 

hart poetry hour 6.30.09 1 hart poetry hour 6.30.09 2 hart poetry hour 6.30.09 3

01.07.09
by Geordie Greg

London Evening Standard

In a rare public appearance, TS Eliot‘s widow Valerie attended a reading of her husband’s poems last night at London University.

“It was marvellous to hear Tom’s poems and to have them read so well,” she said. It is 86 years since TS Eliot published The Waste Land, revolutionising English poetry and placing him as its greatest 20th century exponent.

The readers were Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, actor Jeremy Irons, The Wire’s star Dominic West and actress Anna Cartaret as part of the TS Eliot International Summer School. It is more than 44 years since Valerie Eliot was widowed and she has been the sole executor of his literary estate ever since, cleverly allowing Andrew Lloyd Webber to use her husband’s feline verse for the musical Cats which effectively bankrolled Faber & Faber as the music became a global hit.

The reading in the Brunei Gallery was organised by Josephine Hart, who has pioneered public poetry readings at the British Library and recorded CDs of verse read by Harold Pinter, Ralph Fiennes, Roger Moore, Edward Fox and many other great British actors, with a CD and book given to every secondary school, introducing pupils to the auditory power of poetry.

Mrs Eliot, 82, married the American-born poet in January 1957; he was 37 years older than her. She was the great love of his life, rejuvenating him after his disastrous first marriage to Vivien who was mentally ill.

Mrs Eliot edited the first volume of her husband’s letters and also the facsimile volume of The Waste Land with the manuscript showing how Ezra Pound cut it brilliantly by a third, ensuring its position as the most important poem in modern history.

She said she was moved and exhilarated by the readings which were fast, lively and produced a standing ovation from the audience.

“History before our eyes, an incredible connection,” said Heaney.

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