This year the BBC marks the centenary of T.S. Eliot’s groundbreaking work The Waste Land with a range of programming across the BBC looking at his life and work.
Later this year on BBC Two and iPlayer is T.S. Eliot: Into 'The Waste Land', a new documentary uncovering the hidden personal story behind Eliot's creation of his celebrated poem, directed by Susanna White.
For decades, Eliot actively discouraged biographical interpretations of his work, developing an ‘impersonal theory’ of poetry in which the private life of a poet was deemed irrelevant.
But in 2020 there were dramatic new revelations which uncovered that, behind Eliot's mask, there was a much more personal story to be found within The Waste Land.
Moving through all five sections of the poem, the documentary explores many different facets of The Waste Land, from Eliot's state of mind during each phase, to the different places where it was composed.
Featuring contributions from actor and director Fiona Shaw and composer Max Richter; poets Hannah Sullivan and Daljit Nagra; Eliot's biographer Lyndall Gordon, Vivien's biographer Ann Pasternak Slater and Faber Poetry Editor Matthew Hollis. Simon Russell Beale performs specially recorded readings of the poem, in conjunction with Eliot's own hypnotic reading of his work.
In October on BBC Four and BBC iPlayer, Ralph Fiennes’ exquisite performance of T.S. Eliot's poetic masterpiece Four Quartets is translated from stage to screen by director Sophie Fiennes.