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Dead Poets Live: The Haunter

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Thomas Hardy, Emma Hardy and Florence Dugdale

Every bereavement is a kind of ghost story. When Thomas Hardy’s wife Emma died unexpectedly in 1912, her loss unstoppered a flood of poetry in Hardy. Taken together, his poems about Emma constitute the most original, strangest and arguably the greatest series of elegies in English poetry, a complex exploration of nostalgia, regret, self-recrimination, self-mythologising, immense pain and yearning. They are the record of a haunting. Which all came as a most unpleasant irony to the second Mrs Hardy…

Working with the poet Mark Ford, whose book examining Hardy’s Emma poems, Women Much Missed, was published last year, Dead Poets Live return to The Coronet this May with a ghost story which is also a love story – a dramatization of a poet haunted into his greatest work.

Cast to be announced.

Dead Poets Live have established a cult following at The Coronet Theatre for their dramatised readings of classic poetry, attracting some of Britain’s finest actors including Rory Kinnear and Tamsin Greig, Denise Gough and Tom Hiddleston. All proceeds from their evenings go to the charity Safe Passage.

Dead Poets Live is devised and supported by The TS Eliot Foundation.

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