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Author: Robert Ormsby

Coriolanus resonated for a Jacobean London audience through performance, assuming it actually was performed in the early seventeenth century. This book focuses on the postwar-productions of the Shakespeare's play. It deals with the Laurence Olivier's 1959 version at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, the reconfiguration of Bertolt Brecht in the 1960s and early 1970s, and the Royal Shakespeare Company's staging of the play in 1972. Alan Howard won the 1978 London Theatre critics award for Best Actor, starred in successful Coriolanus remounts at Nottingham and London in 1978. The 1984-85 National Theatre's Coriolanus reveals the Shakespeare-plus-relevance ideology under strain from the factious political climate, and Peter Hall's outburst in 1985 was the result of years of stagnant arts funding from Margaret Thatcher's government. The book discusses goulash communism that characterized the mid-1980s Hungary and the staging of Coriolanus in Budapest by Gabor Szekely, and the 1988 theatrically radical presentation at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Coriolan embodies the competing influences that help define Robert Lepage's Shakespeare production, which overlapped the highly charged political events in Canada when Quebec voters turned down a proposal to negotiate sovereignty from the country. The new Globe theatre's Coriolanus in May 2006 was the inaugural production under the theatre's new artistic director, Dominic Dromgoole. This Coriolanus appeared to be designed to fulfil a set of expectations related to a certain image of Globe performance. Ralph Fiennes's film in 2011-12 made Coriolanus a failed action hero in denying him unambiguously heroic status.

Robert Lepage’s Coriolan
Robert Ormsby

In October 1995, less than two years after Robert Lepage’s 1992–94 Cycle Shakespeare tour ended in Québec City, Canada narrowly avoided what seemed like national dissolution when Québec voters, by a margin of only one per cent, turned down a proposal to negotiate sovereignty from the country. The tour of the Cycle – comprised of Coriolan, Macbeth and La Tempête

in Coriolanus
Robert Ormsby

Ralph Fiennes’s cinematic Coriolanus , released commercially in the winter of 2011–12, is another product of ‘global Shakespeare’, though one that draws on the aesthetics of the Hollywood movie rather than the avant-garde theatrical techniques of Robert Lepage’s Coriolan. Fiennes, who made his directorial debut with and starred in this Coriolanus , produced the

in Coriolanus
Foreign Antony and Cleopatra in Britain and abroad
Carol Chillington Rutter

that could have been signed ‘John Bull’, a mark of residual cultural supremacism barely disguising its anxious English protectionism, a kind of scramble for identity in the inter-war years as the British Empire crumbled and England clutched tightly the national icons that made England England. Such chauvinism persisted. Echoes of the Leontovich lampoon were heard sixty years later in Kenneth Hurren's comments on the ‘funny accent’ of the Québécoise Angela Laurier, who played Puck in Robert Lepage's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the National

in Antony and Cleopatra