‘I had rather have one scratch my head [../..] than idly sit /To hear my nothings monster’d.’
30/01/14 Donmar Warehouse (broadcast by NTLive). Political manipulation, public outrage and twenty-seven oozing wounds. There are many images and themes to be dissected after a viewing of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, a play that makes warfare look like the clean counterpart to the dirtiness of politics. But, instead of focussing discussion on the play’s major flashpoints (maternal influence, propaganda and popular unrest), it was a revealingly bold move for Josie Rourke, the play’s director, to adopt a very different tack as she took to the stage during the interval. Coriolanus, she put simply, is ‘underrated’, as readily forgotten as it is dense with juicy, ever-relevant conflicts.
Although Coriolanus has seen renewed attention recently, led by Ralph Fiennes’ Balkan-toned film and this stage production, Rourke is unquestionably right; Coriolanus doesn’t…
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