Coriolanus, The Barbican
Caius Martius Coriolanus is a fearless soldier on the battlefield, but he is a reluctant leader. His mother wants the best for him and looks to push him down a route to political power, but he finds it difficult to go against his nature and achieve greatness.
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production runs at the Barbican in London following its opening in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
It stars rising talent Sope Dirisu as the title character. Dirisu has previously appeared in Pericles at the RSC while he was a student, and went on to appear in One Night in Miami at the Donmar Warehouse, The Whipping Man in Plymouth, and spent time with the National Youth Theatre. On screen, Dirisu’s credits include The Halcyon, Black Mirror and Utopia.
He will be joined by four-time Olivier Award nominee Haydn Gwynne. One of those nominations came for her role as Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot, which she reprised when the production transferred to Broadway. Her other theatre credits include City of Angels (1994), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (2015), and The Threepenny Opera (2017).
Other actors to play Coriolanus in past production include Tom Hiddlestone at the Donmar Warehouse in 2013, Jonathan Cake at the Globe in 2013, and the National Theatre in 1984. The play was adapted into a film in 2011 directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes, with support from Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave and Jessica Chastain.
Angus Jackson this RSC production at the Barbican. Jackson has previously directed the sell-out productions of Oppenheimer and Don Quixote, as well as the West End production of Goodnight Mr Tom.
Coriolanus runs as part of the RSC’s Rome season, which has also featured productions of Julius Caesar (also directed by Jackson), Antony and Cleopatra, and Titus Andronicus.
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A full-throttle war play that revels in the sweat of the battlefield, Coriolanus transports us back to the emergence of the republic of Rome. Caius Martius Coriolanus is a fearless soldier but a reluctant leader. His ambitious mother attempts to carve him a path to power yet he struggles to change his nature and do what is required to achieve greatness. Now he must decide who he really is and where his allegiances lie.