Tag Archives: Tom Hiddleston

‘Coriolanus’ Review: Classic Shakespearean Angst feat. Tom Hiddleston

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And, oh, how the crowd continued to grow… © 2014 Francesca Rodriguez

If there’s one thing I have in abundance, it’s “commitment”. I said, a year ago, that the moment Tom Hiddleston returned to the London stage, I would also return to witness it. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what I did to celebrate the new year after months and months of planning. To be fair, ‘Coriolanus’ wasn’t the ONLY draw; a few of my dearest loves, who I only see once a year, were going to be in London at the same time anyway. We like to party, we miss each other, and we have nothing if not a boner for the Bard (we also caught ‘Henry V’ while there). Catching a plane over the Atlantic for this perfect storm of friends, booze, and stage was something I didn’t even have to think about

And what to tell you about ‘Coriolanus’?! Well, it’s Shakespeare as I’ve never seen it, I can say that. Not that I’m well-read enough to have indulged in every one of his plays, but I’d never heard of ‘Coriolanus’ outside of a brief synopsis involving blood and tears. Being Shakespeare, you kind of expect that anyway. It involves a prideful Roman general, an easily duped populace, a grieving mother, and an ardent “frenemy”; not satisfied with Caius Marcius’ (Coriolanus) lack of humility after a grand victory, said populace turns on him which ends well for no one. Coriolanus aligns with his former foe, Aufidius, who’s always tendered a hidden flame for him, and lays siege to the city that betrayed him. Except, you know, his mom comes begging for mercy and Coriolanus can’t find it in himself to remain the hardened monster he’d become. So Aufidius ends him in a gory yet beautiful fashion, weeping prettily all the while. Shakespeare, people! How can you not love this shit?

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Spoils of war! © 2014 Francesca Rodriguez

Obviously, that’s my extremely watered down version of the quite emotional saga. I can’t say if it was because of Tom and the rest of the exceptional cast, or the Bard’s work in general, but we were literally on the edges of our seats. The play is being featured at the Donmar Warehouse and that place is small. I’m talking a max of 250-300 people in an audience. My darlings and I were seated in the balcony and, had the rail been absent, we would have fallen onto the stage, that is how engaged we were. You could feel the energy coming from the actors, the passion pouring forth from their words! Looking around, I couldn’t find a single attendee who wasn’t similarly riveted. “Captivating”, “addictive”, “seductive”, “mesmerizing”, these are all excellent adjectives to describe this production. In the words of the Internet, “I wanted to claw my face off”. Regardless of who/what I can attribute my reaction to, I’ve never experienced Shakespeare like that and can only be grateful to all involved.

Tom Hiddleston was born to do what he does, the equivalent of magic, endlessly drawing the audience in until you feel as if you’re almost a part of the play. Another actor who completely blew me away was Rochenda Sandall who played the “First Citizen”, as well as being part of the ensemble. Unsurprisingly? Both Sandall and Hiddleston were trained at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). Whatever they’re doing there is refining and pumping out a high degree of quality!

This is my boo, Kate. That 'fro in the back talking to Tom is me. That stoic security dude next to us wins all the awards. Basically, this picture says everything about that night.
This is my boo, Kate. That ‘fro in the back, talking to Tom, is me. That stoic security dude next to us wins all the awards. Basically, this picture says everything about that night.

It was lovely to meet Tom again (always a prince), after the evening performance, and I cannot stress enough how wonderful the staff of the Donmar were about the fans waiting outside for autographs. They made everyone line up according to whether or not they had tickets, while security did their best to make sure there were no line-jumpers, all while being incredibly nice and respectful about it! Holy crap! As a NYer, you don’t get as much of that here. And as a NYer who’s gone to her fair share of musicals/plays, it’s worth mentioning that my entire experience at the Donmar Warehouse was the most pleasant of it’s kind that I’ve had. From their Twitter handling, to ticket pickup, to entrance, seating, and meet and greet. Top fucking notch. *FYI, I actually fist-bumped the security dude after meeting Tom because he was definitely an added highlight to my evening. Also, I was a little tipsy.* Since seeing ‘Coriolanus’, I’ve likely gushed about the venue as much as the production itself! If you have the opportunity to see the play in person, please do so; you’ll be treated from start to finish.

‘Coriolanus’ has been extended through to February 13, 2014, holla! NTLive will also be broadcasting a live performance to global theatres on January 30th, 2014.

Tom Hiddleston Returns To The Stage In ‘You Need A Shower’ aka ‘Coriolanus’

© Johan Persson via TimeOut.com
© Johan Persson via TimeOut.com

photos courtesy of Torrilla unless otherwise noted

 

Something I’ve said today: “I like my Shakespeare like I like my men; leather clad and covered in gore.” Not that this is a strange comment for me to make (as you’ve learned during our sweet time together), but the specific reason it came up today, is this…HAPPY ‘CORIOLANUS’ DAY, BITCHES! HAVE SOME BRAND NEW PICS!

 

© Johan Persson via TimeOut.com; gif by me for obvious reasons
© Johan Persson via TimeOut.com; gif by me for obvious reasons

 

What is ‘Coriolanus’, you ask? Oh, ho, ho! Allow me to enlighten you! In the most literal of senses, ‘Coriolanus’ is a Bard flavored tragedy that tells the story of famed Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus which, of course, makes my mention of gore more understandable. Having just finished it’s week worth of previews to be officially “out” on the “Great White Way” of London, excitement is further bubbling because we’ve been blessed with Tom Hiddleston in the title role. I know, I know, I’ve slacked off in not coordinating a group spaz session for this. My sincere apologies! I’ll wait while you get your froth and drool out of the way.

 

© Johan Persson via TimeOut.com
© Johan Persson via TimeOut.com

 

Better? So, yes, Tom Hiddleston as Coriolanus. All that talent, all that intensity, where it rightfully belongs. I mean, if they’re not handing out smelling salts at the door, that could be a problem! The Donmar Warehouse, along with having a certain amount of last minute performance tickets still available each Monday, will also be doing a live broadcast of the play at select theatres worldwide on January 30th, giving so many of us a chance to bear witness. A pretty sweet deal that brings both more attention to the art itself, as well as feeds our need, if you know what I mean and I think you do. Too, the Donmar has been consistent with their provision of behind the scenes/prep photos leading up to this much anticipated opening so, kudos to them! It’s unsurprising that the addition of Tom coupled with savvy marketing made this play sell out in record time. It’s also why, when those last minute tickets DO go on sale, fan fervor sends the Donmar website crashing. Oops?

 

via The Donmar Warehouse twitter
via The Donmar Warehouse twitter

 

Reviews from reputable sources as well as close friends have spoken and, yes, ‘Coriolanus’ is a bonafide success. All parties involved have succeeded in what they’ve set out to do with stellar performances, leaving audiences more than satisfied with this rendition of the tragedy. You can’t see me though I assure you that fist-pumping is periodically happening as I write this! As well as twerks. What?! Anyhoo, epic amounts of congratulations to Tom and his cast mates (including the esteemed Mark Gatiss), whom I can’t wait to see in the New Year*.

 

*Am I really going to London for the New Year to see ‘Coriolanus’? Short answer is “yes, definitely”. As well as ‘Henry V’. BECAUSE WHY THE HELL NOT?! *maniacal cackle*

Tom Hiddleston Wins the Universe At SDCC

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What up? I subjugate people.

Hello! And welcome to this edition of “Frenchie loses her goddamned mind”! In my defense,  I have state that it is not my fault, okay? I’m strictly at the mercy of one Trickster God, as are we all. Please, allow me to explain.

As you may already know, San Diego ComicCon (aka “Geek Mecca”) is currently in full swing. This means that info of the nerdish variety is rapidly flying through the interwebs with the force of punches most likely to be delivered by Wonder Woman. It’s a lot to take in and it hurts, especially for those of us who can’t be there! *Next year, SDCC. I’m coming for you.*

Naturally, a Marvel panel was scheduled for last night (the busiest)  because, are we not civilized human beings? It was to feature updated info on both Thor 2: The Dark World and Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, as well as any other future projects, i.e. Guardians of the Galaxy, etc. that Marvel chose to grace us with. But, who would be there?! Some panel guests were already known, such as Chris Evans (Captain America), though there was one in particular that may have been the real and true reasons fans were camping out for Hall H from the night before. Tom Hiddleston. I can’t even begin to document my adoration for this man. Honestly. It’s reached so deeply into my viscera that it defies any and all detailing; it exists as a given.

And Tom Hiddleston IS Loki, the god of mischief. He’s done the breathing into of this character to such an extent that no one will ever be able to top it. In fact, trying could get them killed. It’s not just a fangirl thing, either. It’s a fan thing, period. Hall H was, from all reports, packed to the rafters with eager fans of all genders. Every single person game for a great Marvel panel but hoping with Asgardian might that Tom Hiddleston would somehow manage to show up. I can say now, hours after the occurrence, that our bodies were not ready. 

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The screech heard ’round the world but, mostly in California.

via Twitter @empiremagazine

Tom didn’t just pop on in, all casual like. Oh, no! Odin forbid! That would’ve been far too tame for this genius of a man. No. Despite the ridiculous process of donning the Loki costume, he did exactly that and ruled over Hall H. I mean, that is what we’re made for, no?! The screams and cheers that erupted from the audience were positively deafening. And many of us, relying on the power of internet-equipped fans, contributed to that sound in our own respective homes.

Let’s be honest here: I was literally reduced to noises. Words? Those were things I couldn’t form as this magnificent bastard took a spear to my heart AND my ovaries, leaving only a husk behind. For those of you wondering, yes, sobbing in a fetal position is a thing that happened. Now…DOES IT EVEN NEED TO BE STATED THAT WE LOVED IT?! ROLLED AROUND IN IT LIKE THE PROVERBIAL PIGS IN SHIT?! SLATHERED THE EXPERIENCE ON LIKE J-LO DOES WITH LA MER?!  This is what we’re about! Unabashed reveling in this mythical world where all things are possible and where a favorite actor takes time from his busy schedule to give us a mere inkling of how it would be in reality. My vapors, let me show you them to you.

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OH. Okay, then. *whimpers*
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*Whimpers more quietly*

Some of the moments I found most endearing were how Tom kept peeking out of the facade of Loki. Loki commanded and gloried in his power over the mortals/Midgardians of Hall H while Tom occasionally broke character to giggle in disbelief that he was the driving force behind the “being” responsible for this…rabid reaction. Ryan Penagos (@AgentM on Twitter) first mentioned that Tom had arrived before correcting himself and tweeting: “No, I’m sorry. Loki is here. @twhiddleston is just the vessel.

After several overtly sexual innuendos (this man knows us so well), Hiddleston then commanded that everyone say his (Loki’s) name. Then say it louder. Then louder STILL, before we were gifted with Thor 2 footage and the entirety of the Marvel panel. I’m sorry, guys; all your favorites just lost to a skinny beanpole from the UK.

Loki-point

As was evidenced by Chris Evans’ (Captain America) appearance, we love our heros. Tom Hiddleston’s appearance reminded everyone that we love our villians just a little bit more. Have a watch for yourself:

(Official and edited HD version)

vs.

(Raw, pervy, real footage from the thick of it)

 SAY MY NAME!