Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Chapter 23: Sir John Gielgud and Dame Ellen Terry

This is a quick entry as I am busy with PhD work, but the amazing Stephanie Graham Pina reminded me about this today when we were discussing the Victorian actress Dame Ellen Terry on Facebook.

Ellen Terry
Her great-nephew Sir John Gielgud, considered one of the greatest actors of the 20th Century, performed a wonderful version of part of Tennyson's Ulysses for a 1996 commercial for Union Bank of Switzerland.

I really like that it has the lines: "Come, my friends, 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset, and the baths of all the western stars, until I die" in it as they are perhaps my favourite lines in the history of poetry.  Gielgud's voice was perfect for a performance of the poem.

Terry herself perfomed Tennyson on stage in a number of his plays (Not as well known as his poetry but he did write a number of them). Most notability in the 1893 production of Becket (Photos of her in the role of  Rosamund can be found here and here)

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