wed 12/05/2021

Fiennes to direct himself as Coriolanus | reviews, news & interviews

Fiennes to direct himself as Coriolanus

Fiennes to direct himself as Coriolanus

Is this a good idea? It has been announced that Ralph Fiennes is to begin work as a director. Not that he is forsaking his more familiar job description in the mean time. For his debut behind the camera, he will also be in front of the camera in the modest, unchallenging part of Coriolanus. Yes, Fiennes is returning to a role that he first played on stage 10 years ago.
col_posterThat was when the Almeida Theatre was in an expansionist phase and had moved into the derelict Gainsborough Studios in Shoreditch. Where Hitchcock had once filmed, in recent years carpets had been stored. The Almeida took it on for one summer only before developers moved in (it's now a block of flats). Fiennes, under the direction of Jonathan Kent, played Richard II, the tragic king, and then Coriolanus, the tragic general.

damp2Maybe the ghost of Hitch spoke to him. Filming starts in Belgrade next week. Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave and Gerard Butler (currently on front pages in supermarkets all over the land as the squeeze of Jennifer Aniston) also star. It’s particularly intriging that Fiennes has chosen to direct himself in this of all roles. As the blood-curdling Roman tyrant troubled by a mother fixation, Fiennes provoked no fewer than three critics to remark in their reviews on an uncanny resemblance to Mr Rigsby from Rising Damp.

Fiennes, who professed not to have heard of Harry Potter before he was cast as Voldemort, was also unfamiliar with Leonard Rossiter's second finest hour. If only he’d cast Frances de la Tour as Coriolanus’s mater.

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