Ralph Fiennes in Four Quarters at Harold Pinter Theatre, London
Magnetic, hypnotic, mesmerising...these three words come to mind when one tries to describe Four Quarters. This is not merely a theatrical performance of a very high standard, but actor's Soul offered to an audience with all its vulnerabilities and strength, with all its light and darker places.
No doubt, Ralph Fiennes is a very bold actor who isn't afraid of a good challenge. Quite the opposite, he truly relishes it. His voice is a powerful, well trained tool, extremely flexible, rich in colour, able to express the subtlest of emotions.
Fiennes truly feels and understands Tennison's poetry, feels the beating heart of his poetic world. Words and allegorical imagery rush towards the audience like musical symphony.
Two grey walls that actor moves and turns throughout the performance are somehow reminiscent of eternal slabs of Stone Hege. They are timeless, like time itself. And therefore are a part of paradoxical Universe, so masterly invoked by the Poet and the Actor.
What is the poem about? Nature of time, nature of human existence? Perhaps both. At times it feels like we are watching a wise, philosophically predisposed jaggier who makes fly striking images and not colourful balls. Magic is certainly present in this production. All basic, primordial elements are here too; Fiennes is burnt by fire, overwhelmed by oceanic waves that are crushing against the invisible shore nearby.
And every sound, every single letter uttered by the actor is heard perfectly in every corner of mesmerised auditorium. Bravo! What else can I say?
Reviewed by Dimitri Devdariani