Introducing Imogen Parker and Luke Beard the actors sharing the lines of TS Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land” for the Performed Reading at the opening event for the exhibition Journeys with “The Waste Land” in Coventry Cathedral on Friday 14th September 2018. Doors open 6pm, performance 6.30pm. FREE.
First rehearsal and read-through of the text, Imogen and Luke consider the many voices of the poem. Eliot originally entitled the poem “He Do the Police in Different Voices”, which exposes and enlightens the form of the poem with the mix of different ideas, themes, characters and influences interacting with, and opposing, each other. Considering where these voices may change, or which parts lend themselves to multiple interpretation is an interesting exercise, with many possibilities and variations.
Chris Stanley, Director, suggests and encourages many ways of looking at the text and offers his expertise as an Eliot scholar, having an intimate understanding and interest in the poem and in TS Eliot in general. He is fundamental to the interpretation the research team for Journeys with “The Waste Land” offer to accompany the exhibition at the Herbert. The Performed Reading is a wonderful way to start the Coventry arm of the project, hearing the words of the poem is a treat; it comes to life when heard and the narrative voices resound off the page. What is often considered a ‘difficult’ poem is realised in a different accessible format. It is for this reason that the performance of the text will be recorded and played throughout the exhibition as an audio broadcast across the opening hours. You may catch a snatch of the poem as you visit the exhibition, but if you can commit the time over a day, or the course of the exhibition, you are able to hear the poem in its entirety.