• Katharine Goodland
  • John O’Connor
Part of the A Directory of Shakespeare in Performance Series book series (DSP)


Coriolanus was a fast-moving, well-knit, enjoyable production. It took only a few moments to get accustomed to the World War II setting and costumes… Peter Maclean brought Caius Coriolanus… to life with his strong voice and forceful mannen. Richard Graham as Menenius Agrippa… and Richard Rossomme as Tullus Aufidius… were equally outstanding. Mae Marmy (Volumnia) also gave a convincing performance…, especially in her speech in Act II, scene two, where she counseled Coriolanus to “Go and be ruled.” In their first scene together, Volumnia and Virgilia busied themselves with drinks and cigarettes, rather than sewing … [Howland Chamberlin and Brendan Burke] as the Tribunes gave interesting renditions, as did Gretchen Corbet (Virgilia) and Chris Maclean (Young Marcius). William Preston as Publius the Senator was obviously at home with the Shakespearean lines … The choric roles and crowd scenes were all effectively staged … The costumes were also imaginative. Especially … the First Citizen with his cigarette butt and five o’clock shadow; Volumnia and Virgilia in Act II, scene one in contrasting black and white dresses, respectively; the Volscians as Nazi soldiers; and Coriolanus’“gown of Humility,” something resembling a burlap bag … A pantomime between Coriolanus and Aufidius when Coriolanus is captured was particularly well done … Aufidius’ home was turned into a café, with beer-drinking soldiers and their dates. The most effective touch of all came after the play: as the audience arose and started to leave, five or six Roman soldiers were seen still on stage, guns on shoulders, standing guard as the audience walked away. (Patricia Ryan Lyles, Shakespeare Quarterly 24 [1973]: 446–47)


Walk Away Death Scene Crowd Scene Cigarette Butt America Director 
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© Katharine Goodland and John O’Connor 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharine Goodland
  • John O’Connor

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