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Dead Poets Live: He Do The Police In Different Voices

How The Waste Land was made

2022 marks the centenary of one of the greatest achievements of literary Modernism, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. Using the facsimile edition of the poem edited by Eliot’s widow Valerie as a guide, He Do The Police In Different Voices (the poem’s original title) tells the story of a masterpiece assembled by three people: Eliot, Ezra Pound and Eliot’s first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood. Pound’s excisions and Vivienne’s suggestions represent a major contribution to the poem’s final form, and the show will explore the fascinating process of alteration and refinement, using it to clarify and explain a poem – which will be performed in full – too often regarded as obscure.

But this is also the story of three people – one the maker of the poem, another its editor, the third its guiding spirit – all haunted, to various degrees, by mental illness. Dead Poets Live’s new production tells their story alongside that of The Waste Land – who they were and what happened to them afterwards.

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 Charlotte Rampling, Miranda Richardson 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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