Saturday, 17 December 2011

true sword to sword

So, the BBC 1984 production of Coriolanus is magnificent and Mike Gwilym is making all the right faces at the right moments. Mike Gwilym is my favourite OH-WHEN-ARE-THEY-GONNA-INVENT-A-TIME-MACHINE? shakespearean actor. Loved his Berowne, loved his Pericles, and his Aufidius is infused with a peculiar sense of weight and tragedy (oh, his face) that I had not found in the character before. No wonder Caius Martius has such a homoerotic crush on him. The Royal Shakespeare Company staging from 2007 with William Houston made me discover this play and it has been on my mind on-and-off since then. Now expectant about Ralph Fiennes' take on the subject I obssess once more. But back 1984: for a tv production -directed by Elijah Moshinsky- this has a couple of gorgeous filmic moments, Act 1 Scene 4 specially, an hypnotic matching of Shakespeare's rhythm of war-language with the images. Alan Howard is more clipped and nervous as the protagonist than I expected, more restless, but his scenes with his mother explain away where the anxiety comes from. FEELINGS. Bottom line: Mike Gwilym makes all the right choices with this.

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