|Mark Gatiss as Menenius|
|Tom Hiddleston as Caius Martius Coriolanus|
The title role is played by Tom Hiddleston, who brings confidence and physicality to the role as well as some pathos. You really do believe that he could be the best soldier in Rome. He doesn't go over the top with aggression as some actors could in this role and his quieter moments are the most effective. Unfortunately Coriolanus should do his talking on the battlefield rather than to the citizens of Rome and nobody can do sarcasm and biting wit like Hiddleston, which is most apparent in the 'winning voices' scene!
Mark Gatiss is fantastic as patrician Menenius adding some humour to the bleak proceedings. His line delivery is brilliant as he embodies everything he is saying and highlights Shakespeare's references to 'stomachs' and 'hearts'. I hope he appears on the West End stage again very soon.
|Birgitte Hjort Sorensen as Virgilia|
Birgette Hjort Sorensen makes a dignified Virgilia as Coriolanus' wife. It is a shame that the play does not give her more lines, but her quiet role as a woman worried about her husband is played perfectly, with her never coming across as a victim.
Elliot Levey and Helen Schlesinger are excellent as the tribunes Brutus and Sicinia. They are a brilliant plot device by Shakespeare as the provide some comic relief as well as being instrumental in the downfall of Coriolanus.
The rest of the cast were faultless with a special mention to Rochenda Sandall, as the First Citizen who opens the play with an energy which never stops. Josie Rourke's direction is impressive, with a great understanding of the play. She also injects some much needed humour and the death scene is shocking and powerful, although the shower scene felt like it was added in for the army of Tom Hiddleston fans!
I would have loved to have seen this production of Coriolanus in the intimate setting of the Donmar Warehouse, but my local cinema was the next best thing!
There are encore screenings of Coriolanus in cinemas across the UK on Thu 13 February - see here for more information http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/ntlout5-Coriolanus
Watch the trailer for Coriolanus below: