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Shakespeare: Coriolanus (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Sope Dirisu (Coriolanus); James Corrigan (Aufidius); Paul Jesson (Menenius); Haydn Gwynne (Volumnia); Charles Aitken (Cominius); Ben Hall (Titus Lartius); Martina Laird (Junius Brutus); Hannah Morrish (Virgilia); Katherine Toy (Valeria);
Caius Martius Coriolanus is a fearless soldier but a reluctant leader. His ambitious mother attempts to carve him a path to political power, but he struggles to change his nature and do what is required to achieve greatness. In this new city state struggling to find its feet, where the gap between rich and poor is widening every day, Coriolanus must decide who he really is and where his allegiances lie.
This is one of Shakespeare's most overtly political plays, the modern dress setting for Angus Jackson's production emphasises the contemporary relevance of the themes explored in ‘Coriolanus’. This release completes the RSC’s tetralogy of Shakespeare’s Roman plays ‘Julius Caesar’, ‘Titus Andronicus’ and ‘Antony and Cleopatra’, all released by Opus Arte earlier this year.
"Strongly performed modern reframing of one of Shakespeare’s most political plays Dirisu is a formidable stage-filling presence striking visual moments strong support from Haydn Gwynne as his [Coriolanus'] intelligent, ambitious mother Volumnia and James Corrigan’s Aufidius, who reveals unexpected levels of affection and warmth towards Coriolanus that serve to make the ending all the more powerful." (The Stage)
"Haydn Gwynne as Coriolanus's mother Volumnia brings a combination of aristocratic arrogance and maternal vulnerability that is particularly moving. As the culmination of an ambitious, thoughtfully realised season of some of Shakespeare's less popular works, it solidly earns its place in the RSC's Roman canon." (WhatsOn Stage)
"It's a production that's built around artful clashes of violence and elegance. In scenes of marble-floored sterility, Coriolanus's power-hungry mother Volumnia (a sleekly persuasive Hadyn Gwynne) coaxes her son away from his meek wife, and out to battle. Then as fighting breaks out, it's back to the abattoir, and the gory foundations that Coriolanus's power is built on." (Time Out)
"Coriolanus is an illuminating study of extremes and intransigence on both sides of the political divide. It’s a hefty, occasionally unwieldy, beast of a play, but Angus Jackson’s modern-dress production steers a clear line through, pinpointing key moments." (Evening Standard ★★★★)
An interview with Sope Dirisu