We round up the reviews for the world premiere production based on T.S Eliot’s Four Quartets, currently touring the UK.
Oxford Mail: “rather than worry too much about what everything meant, I simply sat back and marvelled at a truly memorable performance by great of stage and screen.”
The Guardian: **** “If I have a hesitation about the conceptualisation, this is still a brilliant – really brilliant – piece of work. One instance: the way Fiennes (director and actor) transposes Eliot’s verbal textual allusiveness into physicalised theatrical layerings – of Shakespeare soliloquies, of wartime broadcasts, of Nijinsky’s Rite of Spring (this last, the closest the production comes, for me, to a sense of transcendence, as the narrator figure recounts the movements his body mirrors while he watches a medieval rustic courtship dance).”
The Independent: **** “Taking on T S Eliot’s famous poem, the English actor gives a grounded, conversational performance, seeming somehow both elderly and childlike.”
iNews: **** “Yet, in spite of how compelling it is to watch Fiennes basically give a 70-minute demonstration of why and how he is a fantastic classical actor, it’s in the low-key and underemphasised final part where the eerie beauty of Eliot’s poems really soars.”
WhatsOnStage: *** “What makes the evening worthwhile is being able to see his virtuosity up close. Every atom in his DNA seems finely calibrated towards delivering consistently excellent performance.”
The Times: **** “Stepping on stage before the house lights fade, Ralph Fiennes fixes the audience with a morose look and for the next 75 minutes delivers a baffling but unforgettable rendition of TS Eliot’s Four Quartets.”
The Arts Desk: **** “For 75 captivating minutes, Ralph Fiennes digs deep into TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, the poet’s interlinked reflections on time, faith and the quest for spiritual enlightenment – in what is the first solo adaptation of Eliot’s work for the stage, a co-production between Theatre Royal Bath and the Royal & Derngate, Northampton.”
The Stage: ** “Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in a solemn recitation of TS Eliot’s meditation on time and spirituality.”
The Telegraph: **** “This one-man performance of the great 20th-century poet’s most inscrutable work makes for a magnetic piece of live theatre.”
British Theatre Guide: “Audiences may miss the meaning of Four Quartets but they undoubtedly experience one of our greatest actors at the top of his game.”
The Bath Magazine: ” If I’d have had Fiennes interpretation of Eliot’s philosophy to draw on for inspiration, even those difficult, traumatic times might have seemed beautiful.”
Four Quartets continues to tour.