March 12, 2014

Haiku Revieu: Coriolanus

Coriolanus (****)

Mycroft and Loki
Roman soldiers are brutal
Hiddles does Shakespeare

This past Sunday, my mom and I had a mother-daughter trip to "the theatre" to watch a National Theatre Live broadcast of Coriolanus. Although the production isn't a movie in the typical sense, we did watch it in a movie theater, so it totally counts to do a Haiku Revieu on it.

Coriolanus is a Shakespeare play about a Roman soldier who returns from war and tries to be a politician, with disastrous results. It's a tragedy, and it's brutal. I've never read the actual play, but the brilliance of Shakespeare's plays is that they can be understood pretty well, even if you don't quite understand all of the dialogue.

I will admit, the main reason I wanted to see Coriolanus was because Tom Hiddleston played the lead role. And, unsurprisingly, he was so good. He's such a passionate actor, and he obviously has a true dedication for doing The Bard proud. Also in the production: Mark Gatiss (Mycroft from Sherlock, writer of many an awesome episode of Doctor Who) and Alfie Enoch (Dean Thomas from Harry Potter) and quite a few other very good actors who I, sadly, didn't recognize. Everyone in the cast did a great job, but the woman who played Virgilia, Coriolanus' wife (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) was a little overly dramatic for an already dramatic play.

The set stood out almost as a character of its own. The Donmar Warehouse is a converted banana storage warehouse in the West End of London. The set was very basic—chairs, a ladder and a painted brick wall upon which graffiti was lit. It added to the gritty starkness of the play's theme. The music was really well done, too. All in all, a fabulous production.

I've never seen a National Theatre Live broadcast before, but we had a wonderful time. I really hope I'm able to see more of them in the future. (And if they also have Hiddles in them, I wouldn't mind one bit.)


  1. Lucky! Hiddleston is so great! I have the Coriolanus DVD in my collection (Ralph Feinnes & Gerard Butler!), but I bet the live version you saw was way better! The National Theatre Live broadcasted Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch at a local art museum here, and I missed it because I couldn't get off work. I was so upset! I'll have to see if there's something similar coming up anytime soon!

  2. I'm so happy you got to do this! I didn't know they did the broadcasts worldwide! I've been trying each Monday for a while to get one of their limited £10 front row seats, to no avail. Their plays always, always get good reviews.

  3. I don't think I even knew that there was a Fiennes/Butler version until I went looking for a poster to include with this post. I'll have to check it out! I'd be interested to see the differences in the productions.

    I really want to see that Frankenstein. That's the one in which he switched off with Johnny Lee Miller, yes? I bet it's amazing. What a bummer you weren't able to go!

  4. During the wait before the show went on, my mom kept asking me: "Why don't we live in London?" I have my fingers crossed that you'll be able to get a ticket! The theater looks like such a neat space.

  5. This is one Shakespeare I haven't read, but obviously need to. And see it. Because reasons