Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Theatre 2014: Review Three (cinema)

Coriolanus (National Theatre Live: Cinema City), Donmar Warehouse, London. February 2014.

This has been the hottest ticket in town and as soon as the cast was announced way back last summer Rebecca and I knew we really didn't stand a chance of seeing this live and so we always intended to see it in the cinema.  We've not regretted our decision as tickets have been changing hands for up to £2000 and however much we like the theatre that works out at 50 plus theatre tickets!

I went into the performance quite nervous as I know this is a bloody play but the way Josie Rourke stages it there are actually only 2 gory scenes and as ever they have so much more impact because of the restraint.

This was a modern day production staged in a very small space and while I liked some of the design choices - the wall and keeping all of the actors on stage throughout the first half where the scenes are short and entrances come quickly - I wasn't so sure about the exaggerated choreography and the walking to the edge of the stage and back again unnecessarily.

I'm not sure that I connected with any of the characters, I could see why they behaved as they did but none of them touched me emotionally and the perpetual weeping of Coriolanus' wife drove me mad.

The set design must have meant that all of the seats in the actual theatre missed some of the action and for once I felt that the camera added to the performance, at no point was I trying to look behind it to see what was going on elsewhere. Also even in the small Donmar Warehouse I think that you would have struggled to see the small emotional nuances that were integral to the play.

On the whole I'm pleased I saw this in the comfort of a Norwich cinema rather than having to queue from 4am in the hopes of getting a 'return' and I don't really regret not getting a ticket earlier in the run.

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