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London Evening Standard - 2021-11-25

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‘LOCKDOWN HELPED MY SHOW CHIME WITH PEOPLE’

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RALPH FIENNES said he thinks his one-man show of TS Eliot poetry chimes with those who “had time to reflect on their life” during lockdown. The actor said it was only during the first previews when he “felt audiences listening” to his rendition of Eliot’s Four Quartets that he realised his “lockdown project” had struck a chord. “I think it’s a truism now that being in lockdown, people had the time to reflect on their life and the value of things,” he said. Fiennes began learning the first two poems in the first lockdown and the other two in the second but did not plan to bring it to the stage. He said: “Initially... I just wanted to learn it as something to do. Because I liked what he’s pursuing and I felt a kind of empathy with it.” He admitted the poems, which were written largely during the Second World War, could be “difficult” but many of the broader themes could be understood easily.

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