Filed in Coriolanus

Tom talks about “Coriolanus”

Tom declared himself ‘battle-ready’ and eager to take up his sword as a mighty Roman general, for his first stage appearance in five years. He plays the title role in Josie Rourke’s production of Shakespeare’s tragedy Coriolanus, which begins performances at the Donmar Warehouse on December 6.

‘There’s going to be real blood and sweat,’ the actor said, only half joking. For several weeks, fight director Richard Ryan, has been putting Tom and Hadley Fraser, who plays Coriolanus’s Volscian enemy, Tullus Aufidius, through combat training. ‘He’s a war machine,’ Tom says of Coriolanus. ‘So I have to look as if I could lead an army. He’s at his most alive in battle, but he doesn’t know how to be in peacetime.

He returns from the battlefield a hero, and the people want to make him their political leader — but he’s a master of war, not politics. ‘The soldier side of him requires cut-and-dried discipline and the clarity of mind you need to win a battle. He’s battle ready — but you don’t draw your sword in the Senate!’ Tom told me that he and director Rourke have been exploring Coriolanus’s relationship with his mother. ‘He has no father, so he was raised by his patriotic mother. It’s odd that he’s so obsessively masculine — and this is 200 years before Freud,’ the actor noted.

Two new rehearsal images have been added to our gallery.

Tom HiddlestonTom Hiddleston

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Filed in Coriolanus

Tom Hiddleston to play Coriolanus at Donmar Warehouse

BBC News is reporting that Tom is to play the title role in ‘Coriolanus’ as part of the autumn season at the Donmar Warehouse. You can read more information about the project below.

Directed by Josie Rourke, the Shakespearean drama opens in December with Mark Gatiss also in the cast. “At the center of all these plays is a sense of young people trying to find their place in the world,” said Rourke, the Donmar’s artistic director, announcing the season on Monday.

Describing Hiddleston “one of our leading young classical actors,” Rourke said she envisaged Coriolanus would be a “contemporary” production. She said early discussions with 32-year-old Hiddleston about the role of the Roman general had centered on “ideas about militarism and what being an extraordinary warrior does to your mind.”

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