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Bloodbath as Bard meets the Samurai.

Byline: Marion McMullen

REVIEW

CORIOLANUS - Swan Theatre, Stratford, until January 25. Running time 3hrs 15mins.

THERE'S more blood and gore around than in a kung-fu movie in this Samurai- inspired look of Shakespeare's political battlefield.

Coriolanus is a warrior "bred to the wars" and what follows is a violent bloodbath with the blood of his enemies positively dripping from his bare body, although surprisingly his sword blade remains clean at all times.

Greg Hicks is the killing machine who can do no wrong in the war zone, but puts his foot firmly in his mouth every time he tries to further his ambitions in the political arena.

He's the no-nonsense soldier who has never had to learn the need for diplomacy and without a sword in his hand he's lost. Dealing with the common people is bound to end in disaster.

Hicks presents an honest figure who plays by the rules and cannot understand political backstabbing.

Alison Fiske is frankly scary as his strong-minded mother urging him to do his duty, while Richard Cordery is by turns funny and deeply moving as close friend Menenius.

The Samurai theme enforces the code of the warrior, but prepare for fainting audiences as the blood starts flowing.

CAPTION(S):

KILLING MACHINE: Greg Hicks as Coriolanus
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 2, 2002
Words:212
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