Coriolan/usA production of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus (incorporating texts from Bertolt Brecht’s Coriolan) commissioned by National Theatre Wales (NTW) in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) for the World Shakespeare Festival/London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Type Performance
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSt Athan, South Wales
Media of outputDVD & Physical Portfolio
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
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Abstract

Status:
Developed and performed in Wales; with an initial run of performances from the 8th to 18th August 2012; and staged in Hangar 858, RAF St. Athan, South Wales. Commissioned and produced by National Theatre Wales (NTW) in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), for the World Shakespeare Festival and London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. With Brookes designated Co-director and Designer. Preparatory work on the dramaturgy was supported by an award of £10,000 from the Aberystwyth University Roberts Research Fund.

Research questions:
In what ways might advanced techniques of alternative theatre practice reveal new approaches to the staging of Shakespeare?
How might contemporary media and technology be employed to enhance an understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare for audiences?
In what ways can long-term scholarly and practice-based research inform and extend the production practices of theatre-making for both professional and public benefit?

Significant features of process, and reflection: 
A production of Shakespeare’s ‘Coriolanus’, incorporating texts from Bertolt Brecht’s unfinished adaptation ‘Coriolan’. This promenade production, in a decommissioned WW2 aircraft hangar of 90 metres by 50 metres, involved the convergence of approaches of site-specific work, live art, and devised performance, with those of scripted drama and conventions of stage practice, in a multi-media performance including advanced video and audio technologies. With the spoken text transmitted directly from the radio-miked performers to each spectator individually through personal wireless headsets, and with twinned black and white video projections delivering details and alternative views of the event mixed live from nine moving and CCTV cameras; the overall effect and experience was a combination of live performance, two ‘live’ films and a ‘live’ radio play. The project being jointly commissioned by NTW and RSC in response to The Persians (2010), with the ambition of creating and manifesting new approaches to Shakespeare through the research, conceptual and dramaturgical practices of the co-directors.

Documentation includes:
Production programme.
DVD combined unedited live media mixes from a single performance.
DVD edited video performance documentation.
CD rehearsal and production photographs.
Performance script.
Blanford, S. 2012 ‘Planet’ Issue 208, Planet Magazine, Berw Cyf.
Kear, A. 2013 (forthcoming) ‘Theatre and Event: Performance and the Ethic of Interruption’, London, Palgrave. 
http://nationaltheatrewales.org/whatson/performance/ntw21#coriolanus
http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/jul/30/coriolanus-pearson-brooks-interview