Monday, November 12, 2007

Performance Notes: Coriolanus

Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Shakespeare Theater
March 24, 2007
Directed: Gregory Doran
Featuring: William Houston, Janet Suzman, Timothy West

* Visual numbing- red clothes, red walls, red splattered floor. Idea of blood over represented and didn’t keep the eyes interest

* Set of Rome three main doors, could see shadows of people long before the entrances. Otherwise, either a big wall with a window possibility, forming two doors, or emptiness

* High energy of the piece meant most actors had poor diction/enunciation. Difficult to understand

* Coriolanus effeminate and crazy as a loon bird. Costume as a citizen girly and buttoned up, costume as a warrior tribal and fierce

* Volsces in grey

* Citizens sympathetic until the end when their changeable nature is capitalized on and made more comic. Second citizen a woman, another woman and a baby often shown giving a more complete picture of Rome. Soldiers complete whimps, Coriolanus has a point about them

* Coriolanus’ return to Rome described by tribunes though there is no way they saw it as was staged

* Great use of shadows- the army, the party at Aufidius’

* Coriolanus’ death by pulling Aufidius’ sword into him, Aufidius last speeched delivered to an empty stage, cradling a dead Coriolanus in his arms

* Coriolanus and Aufidius quite the pair. Aufidius completely and totally enraptured, embracing and kissing Coriolanus upon C’s exile from Rome. Have the sense C is not quite reciprocal in feelings

* Scene after Coriolanus’ banishment a sense of peace and harmony, people holding white balloons? Not sure they had those in ancient Rome

* Coriolanus lifted up upon his shield after the battle

* Absolutely no sense of humility in the asking for the voices of the crowd

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