- 3h 12m
Caius Martius Coriolanus is a war hero, banished from his home, seeking to come back.Caius Martius Coriolanus is a war hero, banished from his home, seeking to come back.Caius Martius Coriolanus is a war hero, banished from his home, seeking to come back.
Had no doubt that this production of 'Coriolanus' would be good, or at least good. The cast is a great one and like Tom Hiddleston, no stranger to Shakespeare with him being in 'The Hollow Crown' and being excellent as Hal/ Henry V, as an actor a good deal. It was interesting to see whether 'Coriolanus' would fare done in minimalist modern dress, which for me would have been a first to see if my memory serves correct. Was not let down at all, this 'Coriolanus' is not just good, it's excellent.
The camera work was not always great, but this is more to do with the experience rather than the production itself. The camera work could have been much more intimate, especially in the more dramatic moments where some more expansive wide shots agreed did distract and made the stage somewhat smaller than it actually is.
My only complaint actually with the actual production itself was to do with the transition changes between scenes, the momentum sags and they could have been far more interesting than they were.
On the other hand, although simple the production looks good, the sparseness not being ugly at all and is done in good taste. Found the set quite atmospheric and that it fitted with the play's and drama's mood, while the lighting is not too dreary and adds to this atmosphere. The modern dress costumes don't look cheap and fit with ease within the setting. The use of props was clever and not too much of a gimmick and the blood is not used gratuitously and symbolic of anger and hate that appear frequently throughout the play without going overboard or in your face with it. Josie Rourke's stage direction is quite remarkable, 'Coriolanus' themes and conflicts are handled with un-pat neatness, as well as all the vital story elements, even if the setting is different the spirit is very much the same. The humour is not overdone or too broad, so it doesn't grate and is funny, the action is violently harrowing and tense while not pulling any punches and the tragedy brings a lump to the throat.
In the difficult title role, Hiddleston is mesmerising and the embodiment of him while digging deep into the character's way of thinking (which is one of the play's challenges). The character also grows and goes on a journey and in a way that's never rushed or over/under-played. There are also fine performances from Birgittte Hjort Sorensen (beautifully understated), Mark Gatiss (uncompromisingly ambitious), Deborah Findley (sincere) and Hadley Fraser (indeed a force to be reckoned with).
Summing up, excellent. 9/10
- Nov 8, 2019