This is a post by JBFC Manager of Theater Operations Kendra Ekelund
If you search for Shakespeare’s least-produced plays, Coriolanus will undoubtedly be listed. It’s as realist as Shakespeare gets; an unflinching political tragedy with echoes of fascism that perhaps doesn’t have the broad appeal of some of his more familiar works. But, when the stars align (literally and figuratively) for a magnificent production like this one, it’s easy to see the unique mastery of this powerful play through the bloodied veil, and an opportunity to see it should not be missed.
Coriolanus is not a traditional Shakespearean tragic hero in the sense that no written dialogue betrays his inner monologue, which makes this character even more fascinating to watch. After he is exiled by the city he has sworn to protect, his quest for vengeance unpredictably unfolds. In this production from London’s Donmar Warehouse, English actor Tom Hiddleston commands the lead as Caius Martius Coriolanus, and the critics and audiences are raving. In fact, the unprecedented demand for tickets has resulted in added performances, and a lottery to allow audience members the mere opportunity to purchase them. Check out an interview clip of Hiddleston talking about his approach to the role here. He’s complimented by a stellar cast that includes Mark Gatiss (BBC’s Sherlock) as Menenius.
Hiddleston last appeared at the Donmar as Cassius in Othello (2007), and has since gathered an enormous fan following from his film work, including his turn as Loki in Thor and The Avengers. If you missed those, but caught Midnight in Paris, you’ll remember him as F. Scott Fitzgerald, and here at the JBFC, we are eagerly anticipating his performance in Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive this spring.
Fortunately, we lucky Americans don’t need to win a lottery to catch this momentous production of Coriolanus. We’ll be able to watch the live broadcast of the evening performance in London at 2:00 pm on Thursday, January 30th. Tickets are available here.