Avon Theatre

314 Reviews

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Things to do


Date of travel

June, 2018

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Travelled with

Adult family

Reasons for trip

Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Coriolanus is in production at the Avon Theatre in Stratford, Ontario until October 20th as part of the “Stratford Festival”:https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/WhatsOn/PlaysAndEvents/Production/Coriolanus for 2018. If you like traditional Shakespeare this may not be the offering for you. Although the dialogue is true to the original, the costumes and setting are modern. My sister found this juxtaposition off-putting; I enjoyed it.

The set design combines cinematic techniques as well as those of the traditional stage. Robert Lepage uses mass media, including television reporters, and social media, including texting, to tell this tragic tale. He directs a fast-paced engaging play in which Coriolanus’s mother, Volumnia, played by Lucy Peacock, steals the show.

The plot is as relevant today where politicians feel they must pander to the masses and tell them what they want to hear in order to stay in power, regardless of whether the politicians believe what they say. The people of Rome end up banishing their hero simply because he won’t follow tradition and ask for their support. It ends up coming back to haunt them when he offers their enemy his support. Does anyone really mean what they say? Perhaps Volumnia does, especially when she counsels her son to be mild in his approach to others while she is hitting his chest to emphasize her point. Yes, there are many comedic and ironic elements to the play as well as tragedy.

Denise Bridge

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