The new production that begins streaming today for free to run until next Thursday is Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. I wasn’t absolutely sure I was going to watch – not only am I not dying to see it, one of Shakespeare’s lesser plays, but also it’s three hours long. But I figured I won’t get many chances to see Corionlanus, and I can always watch over two nights. And it stars Tom Hiddleston who I like a lot.
So I read the synopsis.
And I was flabbergasted. It’s about Trump!!
(Albeit with more pathos, sympathy and courage... But at its foundation, Trump nonetheless.)
A couple passages from Wikipedia –
“The play opens in Rome…. There are riots in progress, after stores of grain were withheld from ordinary citizens. The rioters are particularly angry at Caius Marcius, [Coriolanus] a Roman general whom they blame for the loss of their grain….Marcius is openly contemptuous of the people, and says that the plebeians were not worthy of the grain.
“Faced with this opposition, Coriolanus flies into a rage and rails against the concept of popular rule. He compares allowing plebeians to have power over the patricians to allowing ‘crows to peck the eagles’".
There’s a lot more, too. Including the matter of being a traitor and working for Rome's enemy.
Okay, you couldn’t keep me from watching. Though still perhaps over two nights…
Furthermore, it turns out that this is an acclaimed production, originally done at the Donmar Warehouse in 2014. A friend of mine who is seriously up on such things not only saw a recent movie of the play that Ralph Fiennes directed and starred in and said it was wonderful (I only saw the trailer, which doesn’t count…but it looked good), but he also wrote me last night, “Hiddleston's performance and this production have entered modern theatrical lore so this will be an extraordinary opportunity.”
Also in the cast is another actor I like, Mark Gatiss, who viewers here may know best as Sherlock Holmes' brother Mycroft opposite Benedict Cumberbatch.
For those interested, this is the online link here. However, it can be watched on a Smart TV, too, through the YouTube app, which is how I've watched these streaming productions. And again, it will run for a week starting today, and for free. (Though they do make a request for a donation.)
And this here is a brief synopsis, not anything in full detail, but it should give you a pretty good idea.
This is the trailer --