T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets :: Performed by John Farrell

Peer Gynt
Photo © Darren Setlow
World class theater...awe inspiring... What makes Figures of Speech so special is the metaphorical level of the proceedings... a brilliant piece of theater metaphor.

- Tucson Weekly, Tucson, AZ

John Farrell's performance of Four Quartets is not only technically flawless, but also deeply moving, as he transforms himself into an instrument through which Eliot's poetry can pour and embody itself, a cry from one human life to another.

- Annie Finch, Poet and Director of Stonecoast MFA Program, Portland, ME

Layers of reality vs. abstraction, of reality vs. performance, of perception itself are gently explored... A visionary weave of puppet and actor theater.

- The Daily Record, Baltimore, MD

It's difficult to imagine that anyone could walk away unmoved or unchanged by this performance.  We come to understand that we're watching someone who's been on an amazing journey through the landscape of Eliot's text and then returned to invite us to venture forth with him. That's an unbelievably generous gesture — a rare one — and I think the audience understands this and responds accordingly.

- Norman Frisch, Film and Performance Specialist J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA

In its fusion of Japanese noh theater and bunraku puppetry, Indonesian shadow-drama and American sensibilities, this Figures of Speech Theatre premiere is a wholly original multicultural artifact.

- The Portland Phoenix, Portland, ME

There are images from the performance I shall never forget for their utter beauty.

- Wendy Salkind, Professor of Theatre, University of Maryland

The piece takes its form by layering and contrast. Poetic, it is rich and lean, without excess image or word. Ironically, this piece, which may cause one to ponder what is lost when cultures take and ravage, is itself the product of what great things – such as art – can happen when cultures blend and borrow.

- Times Record, Brunswick, ME

Mr. Farrell respects Mr. Eliot’s belief in the power of the word to work wonders. Seeing and hearing Mr. Farrell is to witness this wonder, this power, and this beauty of the Word.

- Paul Kuritz, Professor of Theater, Bates College, Lewiston, ME

Light on the Water escapes all preexisting categories. Its dramatic ideas and staging are riveting.

- The Morning Call, Bethlehem, PA

The compelling performances that John Farrell and the DaPonte String Quartet gave us made the case for a collective power that only exceptional live performance could possibly deliver.

- Seth Warner, Olin Arts Center, Lewiston, ME

An extraordinarily powerful work...and a creation of love. The reviewer can only carry back fragments in an inadequate basket made of words; see this work firsthand for that moment of understanding.

- The Express, Bethlehem, PA

In the complexity and beauty of their work, Figures of Speech reaffirms the wonderfulness of life.

- Maine Times, Portland, ME

She-Who-Loves is a piece which exists at the intersection of Art and Nature, of Earth and Spirit.

- Puppetry International

The modesty of the performance belies its power and Farrell’s prodigious mastery of the poems’ intellectual images and sensual intricacies.

- Kristin M. Langellier, Professor, Department of Communication and Journalism, University of Maine

As artists, as teachers and as people, you are a warming reminder of the kind of humanity that is possible in the arts in the very best sense of that word.

- Judy Dworin, Trinity College, Hartford, CT