We'd let Sir Alec Guinness enjoy his liberty :)
Meanwhile, here is an opinion about the poetry in the play which the audience is expected to enjoy in the theater. In line, I hope, with Rickard Parker's expectations of it.
In The Family Reunion "Mr Eliot has succeeded in his wish to 'convey the pleasures of poetry' to audiences of theatre-goers".
"[T]he progress from Burnt Norton to Little Gidding would hardly have been possible without The Family Reunion. The bold flexibility of the verse in the later Quartets, its confidence and daring and ease, were made possible by the achievement of The Family Reunion with its control over transitions, its changes of rhythm, its power of 'expressing the greatest thoughts naturally'."
Helen Gardner, The Art of T. S. Eliot
From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, September 1, 2011 9:47 PM
Subject: Re: Poetry in 'The Family Reunion'
I don't think Guinness is enacting any character in the play. And if he is not doing that, he is not supposed to be reading the lines after any character. Apparently he has picked up lines from the play which appeal to him as poetry, and he renders them as as poetry after his own fashion. Taken independently of the play, I can visualize Eliot reading them in the selfsame manner.