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Coriolanus (Shakespeare in the Park)

From 74 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Relevant, Slow, Intense, Disappointing

About the show

Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan directs a modern-day version of Shakespeare's epic of democracy and demagoguery for The Public's free outdoor season. More…

From the show:

For the first time since 1979, Free Shakespeare in the Park presents "Coriolanus," the Bard’s blistering drama about a general voted into power by a populace hungry for change, and the unraveling that follows. Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan (Proof, Shakespeare In The Park’s Troilus and Cressida) directs a modern-day version of this riveting epic of democracy and demagoguery.

Member Reviews (74)


Great acting, Relevant, Slow, Intense, Disappointing
Avg Score

Thought-provoking, Great acting, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if If you like modern Shakespeare. Some good acting, good directing.

Don't see it if This one is slow and disappointing even if its it's free.

Relevant, Slow, Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting

See it if Jonathan Cake's mesmerizing, galvanic performance as Coriolanus is reason alone to see this minor key tragedy Kate Burton's Voluminia shines

Don't see it if Sullivan's stalwart direction enhances plodding drama but obvious references to Trump & current political climate are within subtle reach

Good bones, Strong lead, Wasted talent, Misquided

See it if you’d like to spend a (free!) summer evening in a lovely open-air theater with pretty good sightlines & sometimes wonky acoustics.

Don't see it if you have a strong feeling for the primal power of the simply plotted, sharply delineated original.

Also Here a directorial concept does a production in. In the original, pleb... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Edgy, Resonant, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you’re interested in a show about a tyrant leader (sound familiar?), or would like to see a less-complicated Shakespearean narrative.

Don't see it if depictions of violence and blood bother you. This play has some intense moments, but is overall easier to follow than most of Shakespeare.

Great writing, Strange, Confusing, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if Starts out weird but grows on you when the clear conflicts & crisp rhetoric supersede the confusing aesthetics.

Don't see it if Distracting details threaten to commandeer attention. Is that an American accent or an English one? What on earth is everyone wearing?

Also Underrated play with so many great lines. Burton sells it as Volumnia.... Read more Read less

Great staging, Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if You love Shakespeare in the Park, you will relish this tragedy. Sitting in the Delacort Theater is part of the magic & this was a treat!

Don't see it if You prefer light-hearted musicals.

Slow, Intense, Epic, Some great acting, Ambitious

See it if You want to see a masterful performance in the lead, title role by Jonathan Cake.

Don't see it if This is not even close to top tier Shakespeare in terms of the play itself. But it is well worth seeing for some fine acting.

Must see, Funny, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a modern interpretation of a classic Shakespeare play. Great production set in a garbage dump...right in the middle of CP.

Don't see it if you are so stupid as to not be familiar with Shakespeare's works.

Resonant, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like Shakespeare 'red in tooth and claw'. An uncompromising reading of the play. Great acting, especially by the lead.

Don't see it if You don't like Shakespearean drama writ large with blood and gore to the fore.

Relevant, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You’d like to see Shakespeare under the stars, a good production of Coriolanus, great acting

Don't see it if You don’t like Shakespeare, long plays, or need to see something exceptional. This production was good but very straightforward.

Decent acting, Great set, Relevant, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you love the story or are a fan of Shakespeare's lesser known works. Kate Burton is fantastic and the cast really gets the language.

Don't see it if you're expecting an emotional journey. This is just war and violence and sometimes a moving speech. Jonathan Cake was not especially good.

Also I had never seen a production of CORIOLANUS before this one. I'm a hug... Read more Read less

Must see, Masterful, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Like clarity of language and depth of interpretation in a difficult play

Don't see it if uncomfortable grappling with a difficult play for 3 hours

Riveting, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy Shakespeare's classic words set in a way that bring new relevance. It isn't an over-the-top re-imagining, but just enough.

Don't see it if you have trouble with Shakespearean English. It isn't the most well known or accessible of his works, so it wouldn't be a good one to start.

Intense, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if You like to be in the middle of Central Park watching a Shakespearean drama that isn't performed very often. Good sets too.

Don't see it if You really love fight choreography. The choices made in that regard weren't the greatest.

Also Kate Burton is her usual spectacular self.

Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if you like Shakespeare, and complicated politically-minded shows

Don't see it if you don't like/understand Shakespeare, need good fight choreography, want to sit for hours

Also Coriolanus is my favorite Shakespeare play, so I hold the productions ... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Great writing, Slow

See it if If you've never seen the play and want to. Most of the cast was verygood, but I didn't like the two male leads, who dragged out their lines

Don't see it if you have seen a good Coriolanus. I saw Steven Berkoff's very brisk version at the Public, and that was a great Coriolanus. This isn't.


See it if you really like Coriolanus already or are a completionist who wants to add this production to the list of shows you talk about having seen.

Don't see it if this is your first Coriolanus or your first Shakespeare or you love great fight choreography or simmering, subtle relationships on stage.

Masterful, Intelligent, Great staging, Epic, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy Shakespeare and dissecting the language! See it if you like watching shows that make you think about human nature and error.

Don't see it if You are not interested in the language. It would be very tough to enjoy.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if You love Brecht

Don't see it if You don't like experimental theater

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting

See it if you love excellent Shakespeare. Incredibly well-acted and directed, doesn't shy away from any of the issues raised. Incredible ensemble.

Don't see it if Definitely long and a bit slow, but was worth the wait. Sink into its pace and it pays off.

Ambitious, Quirky, Intense, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if You're a big fan of The Public Theatre like I am. The set was phenominal and staging is clever as always. Acting was very good.m

Don't see it if You're not into Shakespeare. Historically this is not one of his most popular plays..but very fun all the same.

Also Kate was just great. The Public always leaves such an amazingly distin... Read more Read less

Compelling, Riveting, Intense, Masterful

See it if Shakespeare's play about a hero whose heroic acts and loyalty are undervalued by his kinsman because he's a ego driven bastard.

Don't see it if Shakespeare writes plays of thoughts and words. Coriolanus' thoughts and words must be enough to keep us involved.

Also Jonathon Cake is riveting from the moment he strides on the stage. His... Read more Read less

Relevant, Must see, Masterful, Intelligent, Epic

See it if you appreciate the complexity and nuance of Shakespeare and you don't expect a clear hero and villain or to be told what you should think.

Don't see it if you are bored or by a production that presents real characters who are all flawed, rather than insipid pieties as in To Kill A Mockingbird.

During previews
Relevant, Accessible, Disappointing acting, Slow, Great writing

See it if you like solid--but lackluster--Shksp. Verse is clear, but actors don't shine. Politicians are dirty; pleb mob is manipulated at rallies.

Don't see it if you want to be dazzled; you might be a bit bored. Why isn't there diff costuming for nobles/plebs? For Romans/ Volscians? Still, fun/free.

During previews
Epic, Entertaining, Great direction, Great acting, Clever

See it if You want to see a really clever style of the show. It felt very modern even though it was classic language. Very accessible. Great acting.

Don't see it if If you hate Shakespeare. I think this was easier to “get” than most but it’s still Shakespeare...and if you hate’ll hate it.

Also The lead was FANTASTIC!! My only small complaint would be the set. It ... Read more Read less

August 5th, 2019
CRITIC’S PICK. "An Electrifying ‘Coriolanus,’ Addicted to War. Jonathan Cake finds the cracks in the macho surface of Shakespeare’s strangest tragic hero in Daniel Sullivan’s fiery production in Central Park."
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August 5th, 2019
★★★★ "Jonathan Cake is a glorious hunk of mess in Shakespeare in the Park's astute and timely production of 'Coriolanus,' a tragedy with a singularly disagreeable hero…The superb Cake brings a leaping physical energy to his performance...he delivers Shakespeare's winding verse with precision."
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August 6th, 2019
"A 'Coriolanus' Amid the Wreckage"
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August 12th, 2019
"Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge take pains to dredge up feelings of audience profundity, and the Public presents a colorful new rendition at Shakespeare in the Park."
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