National Theatre Live has done another great production. Tom Hiddleston as Coriolanus was superb. Described by Emma Freud as “the sexiest man in the world” , which is totally irrelevant to his performance, but an interesting note, he gave a very controlled performance of the man who is a warrior, who has a very high opinion of himself and a low opinion of almost everyone else, and who is driven to make his mother proud. 

His mother Volumnia was played by Deborah Findlay. Volumnia to me is always the most interesting character in the play. She controls her son and his life. There is no mention of her husband; one can only assume that he did not live up to her standards and had to kill himself. Findlay’s performance was nuanced. This is the first time I have seen this play where you got a glimpse of uncertainty – had she in fact created this man who betrayed her and her country and everyone he loved?


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
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One Response to Coriolanus

  1. keithhpotter says:

    A lean, muscular production at the Donmar where your attention is on the play, not the scenery, but still able to intelligently heighten key points of the play.
    A mama’s boy full of hubris, but you have to have some sympathy for Coriolanus’ efforts to stay true to himself. I wasn’t sure if Hiddleston could pull it off, he seemed such a pretty boy, Fines seemed a much more natural choice in the movie, but Hiddleston’s turn as Loki in The Avengers was a nice warm-up for Coriolanus, and he did an great job.
    Findlay’s Volumnia was still a bitch but more human than she sometimes appears – Hard to do when she creates this man/boy who cannot compromise, then demands that he do so and, when that doesn’t work out too well, send him on a course that must result in his death. Some mother!
    Virgilia is a nothing role, but Sørensen was interesting enough that I’ll keep an eye out for Borgen on Netflix.
    Gatiss as Menenius was excellent, once I stopped seeing him as Mycroft, and the character seemed much more rounded that I remembered from before.
    Fraser’s Aufidius had to get over the Gerard Butler comparison but did so completely and was totally believable as the leader of the Northeners, I mean Volsces. (Have you noticed how barbarians on the London stage have Yorkshire or Lancashire accents – if they are not Scots?)
    All in all, another production that makes me, almost, want to live in London.

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