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Critics salute Hiddleston Coriolanus

Hiddleston has been seen in such films as War Horse and Midnight in Paris
Thor star Tom Hiddleston gives a powerhouse performance in a new London production of Shakespeares Coriolanus, according to one critic.

Another praised his fine portrayal of the Roman soldier whose inability to compromise results in tragedy.

Hiddleston, The Guardians review goes on, conveys the heros complexity as well as his reckless impetuosity.

Sam Mendes and Sir Nicholas Hytner were among Tuesdays first night audience at Londons Donmar Warehouse theatre.

saluteTom Hiddleston in Coriolanus. Photo by Johan PerssonThe shower scene is extraordinary according to one critic and slightly desperate according to anotherThe BBCs John Humphrys was also in attendance to see the first Shakespeare play the Donmars artistic director Josie Rourke has directed for the venue.

According to The Guardians Michael Billington, Rourke uses the Donmars intimacy to come up with a fast, witty, intelligent production.

Dominic Maxwell in The Times found the show intimate and compelling, while the Daily Telegraphs Charles Spencer called it exciting and intense.

Yet Quentin Letts expressed reservations in the Daily Mail, saying the productions numerous good points were diminished by Rourkes silly directorial touches.

Letts cites one of these touches a shower scene in which Hiddlestons soldier removes his shirt and washes his wounds as a slightly desperate gambit.

The Times man was more appreciative though, saying the scene would please the MTV viewers who have just voted Hiddleston the sexiest man in the world.

Spencer also singled out the extraordinary moment in which his lean, mean killing machine takes a shower after the battle and gasps with pain.

Speaking earlier this year, Hiddleston known to millions for his villainous Loki role in the Thor and Avengers films said the play had an interesting contemporary resonance.

Birgitte Hjort Sorensen in Coriolanus. Photo by Johan PerssonBirgitte Hjort Sorensen Virgilia in Coriolanus plays journalist Katrine Fonsmark in Borgen
Coriolanus is an impeccable soldier who becomes a war hero, the actor told the BBC News website.

That leads him to be corralled into politics, an arena he has no place in.

The political arena is represented in the play by the wily Menenius, played by Mark Gatiss of Sherlock and The League of Gentleman fame.

The cast also includes Deborah Findlay as Coriolanuss fierce mother Volumnia and Borgen actress Birgitte Hjort Sorensen as his wife Virgilia.

salute2The Donmars sold-out production, which will be broadcast live in cinemas on 30 January, is one of several high-profile Shakespeares running in London over Christmas.Jude Law can currently be seen as Henry V at the Noel Coward theatre, while David Tennant is portraying Richard II at the Barbican following its run in Stratford-upon-Avon.

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