Saturday, 1 February 2014

Coriolanus on Screen

I couldn't resist booking to see Coriolanus at the cinema,  (part of the NTLive programme) even though I had the good fortune to see it live. So Thursday night found me sitting in the Little Theatre in Bath, waiting to see Messrs Hiddleston and Gatiss, and Co. again.

I really enjoyed seeing the play again - I enjoyed the chance to see it from (mostly) the front rather than the side, which allowed me to see the faces of the actors for some of the parts where they were facing away from me during the live performance, for instance.  (I got to see Aufidius's kiss, which I didn't, the first time round)

The camera angles also meant the painted lines on the stage were more effective. On the other hand, I thought the shots of Martius's bloodied torso after the battle scenes did it a disservice - it was too clearly make up, less convincing than when seen on stage.

There were a couple of issues with the sound - I'm not sure whether that was just at our cinema, or whether it was at the Donmar end. Fortunately it was only for a couple of seconds at a time.

Having had the luxury of seeing the play already, I found that I was able to focus more closely on the dialogue, and on some of the subtler nuances of the play and the actors.

I did find that, in common with other NT Live broadcasts I've seen (and broadcasts of other stage productions, such as ballets) the film crew did insist on a certain amount of cutting and swapping between viewpoints, and zooming in and out. I am not a big fan of this approach - I would rather, on the whole, that they picked a 'seat' for the camera and stayed there, as I feel that that would give a more authentic theatre-going experience. After all, the production has been designed to be seen on stage, not as a film, and I think it loses something when you go to close, or move around too much.

I also disliked the interview with the director, Josie Rourke, being shown during the interval - I felt it was quite jarring. I was interested in what she had to say, but would rather have heard from her either as part of the 'talking heads' shown before the show started, or at the end, rather than in the middle of the play.

However, all of these are minor irritations. Over all, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the play again, (and would be more than happy to see it a third time, if I can find an encore screening that I can get to) and can only repeat what I said the fist time - Tom Hiddleston is a superb actor, and one who is well support ed by an excellent cast in this production.

My evening was slightly marred by the fact that I temporarily mislaid the car in the car-park when I came to go home, as I haven't really learned what it looks like yet, so I had to wander around clicking the key until a car flashed its lights at me, but other than that it was a practically perfect evening!

No comments: