T O M H I D D L E S T O N AT T H E D O N M A R , 2 0 1 3

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Magazine - - London Evening Standard Theatre Awards -

Ian McKellen won the 1984 Best Ac­tor award for his Co­ri­olanus at the Na­tional, hailed by one critic as ‘a ti­tanic study in ar­ro­gance’. This in spite (or per­haps be­cause) of there be­ing 30 au­di­ence mem­bers seated on the stage who caused him no end of trou­ble — one woman even asked him to sign her pro­gramme as he launched into a soliloquy. After 102 per­for­mances, Peter Hall’s pro­duc­tion trans­ferred to Athens for two ope­nair per­for­mances be­low the Acrop­o­lis. ‘Play­ing Shake­speare to 6,000 in the open air, with in­ad­e­quate am­pli­fi­ca­tion and chas­ing up and down an­cient steep and deep stairs... with banner and sword aloft, is a young man’s game,’ wrote McKellen of the ex­haus­tion he felt at the time (he was 44). ‘Dur­ing the fi­nal show I drank five litres of wa­ter and a jar of Greek honey.’

Re­viv­ing the role, Tom Hid­dle­ston’s Co­ri­olanus at the Don­mar Ware­house last year was var­i­ously de­scribed by crit­ics as ‘scorch­ing’ ( Va­ri­ety), ‘a pow­er­house per­for­mance’ ( Daily Tele­graph), and Hid­dle­ston him­self as hav­ing ‘blaz­ing stel­lar power’ ( The In­de­pen­dent) and a ‘strap­ping torso!’ ( Evening Stan­dard). The lat­ter was par­tic­u­larly well-re­ceived by Hid­dle­ston’s army of young fans who en­sured the run was an im­me­di­ate sell-out, mak­ing the switch from cin­ema to the­atre to watch their idol, who has made a name for him­self play­ing power-mad vil­lains on screen. They took to the in­ter­net in their thou­sands to ap­plaud di­rec­tor Josie Rourke’s decision to add a top­less shower scene not found in the orig­i­nal Shake­spearean text. Here’s hop­ing Hol­ly­wood al­lows them both another turn in the West End soon. ES

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