Far from being a low key return to the London stage, Tom Hiddleston’s leading role at the Donmar Warehouse is being awaited with breath as baited as a mousetrap in a cheese factory.
The actor, who was named Best Newcomer in a Play at the 2008 Olivier Awards, has gone on to conquer Hollywood, appearing in War Horse and playing Norse mischief-maker-in-chief Loki in Thor, Avengers Assemble and Thor: The Dark World.
Now he’s back in London and back on the stage that saw him nominated for that Olivier Award, though not for the performance that won it. Hiddleston enjoys the quirk of having beaten himself to the prize, as he was nominated for two separate performances in Othello (Donmar) and Cymbeline (Barbican).
If Hiddleston were not reason alone to be excited about the latest Shakespearean treat – and he is – he is joined in the cast by Renaissance man Mark Gatiss, musical theatre star Hadley Fraser, Harry Potter regular Alfred Enoch, Borgen’s Birgitte Hjort Sorensen and Olivier Award winner Deborah Findlay.
Far from a horn-helmeted god with a penchant for causing trouble, Coriolanus finds Hiddleston playing a warrior forced to become a politician. Though adept at the art of war, when famine threatens Rome the mood of the people changes leaving Coriolanus facing an angry people.
Coriolanus previews begin on 6 December. While there are no advanced tickets left, £10 Barclays Front Row tickets will be released every Monday at 10:00 for performances beginning a fortnight later. If you are unable to see the show at the Donmar Warehouse, it will also be screened as part of NT Live on 30 January.
Before then, take a look at the work going on in the rehearsal room.