On August 20th and 21st at Edinburgh International Festival Shakespeare’s Coriolanus played to critical acclaim. Directed by Lin Zhaohua and starring Pu Cunxin, the production was supported by both KT Wong Foundation and the Ministry of Culture of China.
The Tragedy of Coriolanus fused traditional with modern in using heavy metal music to depict the rioting masses, and proved challenging for the audience. Nevertheless the production drew wide press coverage from the British media.
“Pu Cunxin is a weathered Coriolanus, convincingly campaign-hardened, rather than the golden aristo of some interpretations. Aufidius has a sneaky habit of eclipsing the title-role (my first Coriolanus, Tyrone Guthrie’s production at Nottingham in the 1960s, was stolen by a young unknown called McKellen) and here Jing Hao’s mood-swings throughout the two men’s warfare – hostility, admiration, anger, sorrow – capture the love-hate relationship the Romans, and Shakespeare, feel towards the unyielding autocratic principle.”
Daily Telegraph: “Not a landmark event, then, but a valuable milestone, all the same, on that all-important journey towards better cross-cultural understanding.”
The Scotsman: “It’s not a definitive production; but it adds a powerful voice to the human conversation about this mighty drama, and about how to fight for democracy, in the full knowledge of the dangers of mob rule, and of the tyranny of the majority.”
Lady Linda Wong Davies, founder of the The KT Wong Foundation added: “This project strongly reflects the Foundation’s ambition – to integrate the traditional with the contemporary and to celebrate both Chinese and Western culture.”