Coriolanus Takes Center Stage

February 7, 2014 11:00 am

Review of Coriolanus at Donmar Warehouse, London, 30/01/2014

On the 30th of January, Coriolanus broadcast live around the world from the Donmar Warehouse in London. The Shakespearean play is one of the least known amongst his work, and scepticism has haunted many views surrounding the play as to how the dramatic performance would pan out. Nevertheless, the play truly smashed expectations and shook up the Shakespeare performance as we know it. It did not steer away from the play’s original glory, but put an exciting modern twist on it.

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Director Josie Rourke has taken this under-appreciated, magnificent piece of work and transformed it into the beautiful, inspiring performance it was supposed to be. With a fantastic cast including Tom Hiddleston and Mark Gatiss, the emotion represented within the play was brought to life in a truly magical way. Each actor shows so much commitment and passion within their roles, it’s easy enough to get drawn in; allow your mind to travel to Rome; and experience the tale on a whole new level.

Not only do the cast emotionally captivate us, but also excite us, driving the audience to the edge of our seats with daring sword fights, tense arguments, explosive tantrums, blood and showers! What else could we possibly ask for in a play? Each scene is well planned out with a frequent change of set or prop, keeping you mesmerised at all times, not focusing on anything but the current affair.

The play touches our hearts not only because of its tremendous performance, but also because of its relevance within today’s society, despite being written 400 years ago. We see a young man battling through his amazing ability as a soldier contrasted with his poor qualities as a political icon; once loved by many civilians but now despised. These ongoing themes of war, death, love and politics shall forever be a part of society and therefore shall always hold relevance to the audience.

The-Company-of-Coriolanus-Photo-by-Johan-Persson

The atmosphere was filled with anticipation and excitement from the young fans, awaiting their favourite actors. It was amazing to witness them being so young, and simply enjoying the play for its performance, as well as its cast. They cried, laughed and embraced the emotions this roller-coaster of a play has to offer. Seeing so many young faces supporting the iconic works of literature is a heart warming scene at that.

With a fantastic cast and crew, the true meanings of the play have been shown with justice and passion; conveying the talent the cast possesses within them. They hypnotised the audience with humour, compassion and complete love as the audience stood with heart-filled tears from across the world. In all, we salute you Josie Rourke for bringing this underestimated Shakespeare play closer to our hearts, as it has always been intended.

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