Jerry and Jude Lax have been Michigan Theater members for over 25 years. Here’s what he wrote about seeing the Stratford Festival’s Coriolanus in person and his excitement to see it on screen.
We have been attending Stratford stage productions for many years and always appreciated the uniformly outstanding performances of the acting company. We have, however, occasionally differed with one another on staging—one of us generally admires innovation, one prefers the more traditional. We agreed, though, that the 2018 production of Coriolanus, directed by Robert Lepage and utilizing an amazing variety of modern visual techniques, including projected imagery and live-action video, was not only jaw-droppingly impressive but greatly enhanced the narrative. Coriolanus may not be one of Shakespeare’s more popular or frequently-performed plays, but we find its political themes both interesting and highly relevant to the present day—the ego of political leaders, the relation of those leaders to ordinary citizens, the influence of family members on those leaders. While the use of modern production techniques may on occasion arguably conflict with a play’s underlying story or historical significance, in the case of Stratford’s production of Coriolanus approach and text seemed ideally matched. The play’s audience agreed, and the film’s audience should as well.
– Judie and Jerry Lax