T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, performed by John Farrell-SOLD OUT!

T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, performed by John Farrell
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Date / Time

  • January 17, 2019
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States


An unquestioned masterpiece of 20th-century literature, T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets is a complex, deeply moving meditation on time, memory, and human striving toward the divine.

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 four long poems a summation of his views on poetry and art, on mystical experience, and on humankind’s relationship to history and time.

In 2011, with rarely granted permission of the Eliot Estate, John Farrell committed to memory the one-thousand lines of Eliot’s masterwork and prepared them for performance. John’s recitation of Four Quartets affords audiences an opportunity to immerse themselves in these gorgeous lines of poetry, spoken from memory, and renew their understanding of one the 20th century’s most exceptional poets.

“I was stunned: the poem I heard recited was not the one I thought I knew. John’s performance was a milestone experience, surpassing what I expected, or could even imagine. He was the bridge to Eliot’s infinitely rich world, in a performance that didn’t seem like a performance at all: John disappeared and the poem flowed through him, so clear, so beautiful, and so affecting.” — Mary Dowd, MD

About the Performer

Actor and poet John Farrell, artistic director and co-founder of Figures of Speech Theatre, which has toured the world since 1982. John has been an artist-in-residence at numerous colleges, festivals, and arts centers, and has performed in venues including the New Victory Theater, the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center, and Tokyo’s International House. In 1999 he was one of five American artists awarded a Creative Artists Fellowship from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, allowing him to spend six months in Japan studying Japanese theater and gardens. The Maine Arts Commission awarded him an Individual Artist Fellowship in 2002.


This program is sponsored by Bonnie Barnes.

About Performances at the Rosenbach

From adaptations of beloved classics from page to stage to interactive performances inspired by great literature, experience theatrical arts in an intimate setting.

Seating is limited; advance registration is strongly recommended.