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Coriolanus


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#1 Guest_waldo_*

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 03:51 PM

Has anyone seen the new RSC version of Coriolanus yet? I'm hoping for good things, wondered if anyone had seen it?

Thanks!

#2 Moose

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 12:31 PM

I saw it at the weekend and loved most of it. There were a few random moments with balloons, and some of the performances were a bit below par but mostly its worth seeing.

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 02:01 PM

What's Houston like, Moose?

#4 Moose

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 02:41 PM

Hi Alexandra. Generally he was very good. I've never seen him on stage before, and wasn't sure to begin with- he seemed very jumpy. He settled into the part really well though, and was really believable. The scene between Coriolanus and Volumnia at the end was heartbreaking.

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 03:01 PM

Thanks. I liked him as Henry V and as Sejanus, so I was hoping he'd be good. Better see it I guess.

#6 Lynette

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 11:05 PM

Miss Piggy and Kermit could do the end of Coriolanus and it would be heartbreaking. Houston is good - I've seen all his RSC stuff. Looking forward to this one.

#7 Welthorpe

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 04:04 PM

rolleyes.gif  Oh great, thanks for that image Lynette - I'm not going to be able to get that out of my mind watching it now! Come to think of it, Janet Suzman always did have something of the Miss Piggy about her - in the nicest possible way! I agree about Houston though - I SO want to see him do Richard III - I think he'd be perfect for it. Hiiiiyaah!

#8 richard

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 09:50 AM

rolleyes.gif
Saw Coriolanus this week.  One approaches Stratford with some trepidation these days.  What kind of hit or miss production is one going to see?  There have been too many of the latter this season to my mind - the appalling Romeo and Juliet got the season off to the worst possible start, Julius Caesar was if anything even worse, there was, IMHO, the disastrous recent Richard III, and then frivolous waste of space that was Merry Wives: The Musical.  King John in the Swan was the high spot of the year for me.  If Coriolanus does not quite achieve those heights, nevertheless there was a sense of relief that the play had been seriously and responsibly presented.  First and foremost it told the story directly and clearly.  For those who have never seen the play before - and from interval conversation it was clear that this was quite a number - it was a good introduction.  If the production never quite hit the heights of Alan Howard's wonderful 1977 performance it was nevertheless effective amd moving.  William Houston has the makings of a good, if not great, Coriolanus.  I was, however, slightly disappointed with both Janet Suzman and Timothy West (Volumnia and Menenius).  The strength of the production lay in its supporting cast (often a weak point at Startford) - a brilliant Aufidius,  but above all definitive performances as the Tribunes, Sicinius Velutus and and Junius Brutus, the best I have ever seen.  They were the real driving force of the play.  And the design, with all the pillars, aided their scheming.  Thank goodness we were spared the SAS storming Corioli.
Sad though to think this is the last time the main house will be seen in its present form.  It has been a much under-rated venue.  Admittedly nobody would sit in the Balcony by choice (as I first did in 1960) and the rebuild will remove that handicap.  I just feel all the Stratford venues will be too much the same with a thrust stage.  I think the Swan is greatly over-rated (and extremely uncomfortable).  I just hope the new main house avoids its pitfalls.

#9 Jan Brock

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 08:49 AM

Richard: At last ! Someone here who agrees with me that the Swan is a poor venue for audiences - hardly any of the seats actually face the centre of the stage (except a few house seats they don't sell) so you either end up with a stiff neck or studying the audience on the other side. I have also previously noted how there have been very few striking set designs in that space.

#10 richard

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 11:09 AM

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QUOTE(Jan Brock @ Mar 11 2007, 08:49 AM) View Post
Richard: At last ! Someone here who agrees with me that the Swan is a poor venue for audiences - hardly any of the seats actually face the centre of the stage (except a few house seats they don't sell) so you either end up with a stiff neck or studying the audience on the other side. I have also previously noted how there have been very few striking set designs in that space.

Yes, lets have a society of refuseniks who excoriate the over-rated Swan.  It's not only the sightlines, the hideously uncomfortable seats, the inadequate foyers, loos, bars, etc, but the effect the venue has on the directors and actors who work within.  It seems to me to induce an atmosphere of smugness, an indefinable, but unmistakable pleased-with-itself trendiness, with minimal design and an untterable sameness about the experience.  I just fear the new 'main house' will be a bigger version of the same.




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