Coriolanus review at Brockley Jack London
The theme of war generating war and political reversal, together with deep questioning of traditional male and female roles, makes Shakespeare’s Roman play Coriolanus peculiarly relevant to our times.
Director Mark Leipacher’s condensed, all-male version articulates powerfully the struggle of being a man, as well as the speed at which fickle public opinion can turn. It makes a seldom performed and potentially distant play immediate and packs it with dramatic conflict, enacted by a young, confident cast and set to haunting music by Matthew McCormick.
Jamie Maclachlan is assured as the astute Menenius, who serves the extraordinarily heroic but unpragmatic Coriolanus. Staten Eliot is thoroughly believable in the role. He veers between roaring with rage, faltering when asked to deliver false lines he cannot bear to utter and breaking with almost physical pain in the face of pleas from a mother (Geoff Breton), who is as much a man as he. In an interesting piece of doubling that encapsulates the idea of men who are not men and women who are required to have manly strength, Cary Crankson is both the meek wife Virgilia and the treacherous Aufidius.
Brockley Jack, London, February 20-March 11
- William Shakespeare, adapted by Mark Leipacher
- Mark Leipacher
- Cast includes
- Gethin Anthony, Geoff Breton, Cary Crankson, Staten Eliot, Terry Grant, Jamie Maclachlan, Jude Owusu Achiaw
- Running time
- 2hrs 30mins