Last February 22, the opening night of Guelan Luarca’s Coriolano was held at the CCP Little Theater. Guests, students, media, and patrons of theater were there to witness this Filipino translation of William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. Admired for his valor and military supremacy but disdained for his resentment of the people, Coriolano provides one of the best examples of Shakespeare’s complex heroes. Coriolano starts out gaining respect and admiration from the people because of his bravery and ability to lead Rome to victory; however, his arrogance and anti-diplomacy has led him to be banished.
Should you decide to watch the play, on which I personally think you should, you must prepare yourself for two things: its length and the brilliant acting. I’ve never been disappointed by Tanghalang Pilipino’s overall production prowess, from the set design, sound, lights, and costume. Everything has always been justified in my eyes, and Coriolano was not exempted to it. The set design by Ohm David was uncomplicated and yet very functional; the costumes by Bonsai Cielo were a mix of period and modern that really worked so well with the characters (special mention goes out to the boots that everyone was wearing); and the lights (Dennis Marasigan) and sound (TJ Ramos) had the perfect blend to give you that drama and fury that everyone in the theater needed to feel.
Director Carlos Siguion-Reyna did an exemplary job with directing the play. I’ll always have the utmost respect for directors who can work in a huge movie set and also in a stage with so limitations but can still give justice to a project. He was able to pull apt emotions from his actors; the anger of Coriolano with the people of Rome, the sorrow from the appeal of Volumnia, and the joviality of Menenio. With its length and the depth of language, it might not be for everyone, but I enjoyed it and time went by fast because I was thoroughly entertained.
Playing Coriolano is Marco Viaña, together with Bryan Sy (Aufidio), Ms. Sherry Lara, and Ms. Frances Makil-Ignacio (alternating as Volumnia), Jonathan Tadioan (Menenio), JV Ibesate (Sicinio), and Rhodora Dayao (Bruto), and the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company.
Coriolano runs at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater) from February 22 until March 17, 2019, Fridays (8PM), Saturdays (3PM & 8PM), and Sundays (3PM). For ticket reservations, groups sales and special performances please contact Tanghalang Pilipino: Juan Lorenzo Marco at 0999-8843821 or (02) 832-1125, local 1621.
Tickets are also available at the CCP Box Office or all Ticketworld outlets. For announcements and more information, visit the TP Facebook page at http://fb.com/tanghalangpilipino or email tanghalangpilipinomarketing @gmail.com.