Coriolanus

July 9th, 2002

“Its a very popular play elsewhere, its play regularily in countries that take their theater and politics seriously.”

Shakespeare Santa Cruz is producing Coriolanus this summer, one of the few Shakespeares I truly know (knew?) nothing about. I sort of grouped it with Pericles as another Plutarch story that fails to translate to modern narrative forms. An obscure tragedy.

We went and saw Michael Warren tonight, UCSC professor of Shakespeare, and he corrected a few misconceptions.

First, its not an obscure play.

Second, its not failed, simply more expiremental. Separated over a vast time and space gap, set in Roman mythic history, Shakespeare had much more freedom to play with the roles of individual, the nobility, and God, all tropes that were largely fixed and not subject to much debate when writing more comtemporary work. (the hand of the Royal censor being heavy indeed)

Also its a really good cast. This almost makes up for them doing another staging of Merry Wives, a truly lousy play.

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