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Preview: Coriolanus

R for dissentious rogues, dead carcasses of unburied men / that do corrupt the air

Release Date: December 2

I’ve always had a blind spot for Shakespeare.

I realize this makes me stupid. I get a kick out of Paradise Lost and John Donne, but somehow I find Shakespeare dizzying and foreign, like reading French literature on a carousel after drinking cheap wine. (And since I’m Shakespeare-illiterate, it’s not surprising that my similes need work.)

trans Preview: CoriolanusMy defect may be genetic. My mother had all but completed an English major in college when she switched to math instead, just to avoid a Shakespeare class. My father falls asleep not only during Shakespeare’s plays, but during any mention of his name. He’s still not sure what comes after “Shake-.”

But this is Shakespeare as I’ve never seen it before. It’s Shakespeare with urban warfare and electric guitars and Lord Voldemort in the director’s chair.

It’s a reimagining, but not in the hyper-stylized, Immortals-inspiring tradition of Romeo + Juliet. Instead, Coriolanus seems to straddle the line between artistry and realism. It looks like the right setting to explore themes of vengeance and betrayal and war – a setting at once gritty and heightened.

If the music is loud enough, it might even keep me and my dad awake. ~Ben Orlin – See more reviews


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