24 February 2014

Let me have war, say I

In the latest instalment of my National Theatre Live film-viewing, yesterday I shunned a hot Wellington summer afternoon to take in the Donmar Warehouse production of Coriolanus, featuring the movied-up golden boy Tom Hiddleston in the title role. Hiddleston was predictably watchable as the banished and wrathful Roman warlord Caius Martius Coriolanus, but the other castmembers were equally engaging, particularly Deborah Findlay as Coriolanus' glory-cherishing mother Volumnia, and Helen Schlesinger as the manipulative tribune Sicinia. Other familiar faces who performed creditably include Mark Gatiss (of League of Gentlemen fame) as the pompous potentate Menenius, and the elegant Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (from Danish political thriller Borgen) as Coriolanus' wife Virgilia.

Title quote: Coriolanus - 'Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace as far as day does night; it's spritely, waking, audible, and full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy: mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more bastard children than war's a destroyer of men'. (4.5.238)

See also:
Theatre: Macbeth, 21 November 2013
Theatre: Othello, 20 October 2013
Theatre: The Taming of the Shrew, 27 February 2009 
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