Long-time South End resident Judith Klau will lead an informal talk about Shakespeare's most political play, Coriolanus, at the South End Library on Tuesday, August 7, at 6:30 PM. Coriolanus, one of Shakespeare's tragedies, is being staged by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and directed by Steven Maler. It is performed for free Tuesdays thru Sundays, weather permitting, on the Boston Common, through August 12, at 8:00 PM, 7:00 PM Sundays.
The play is based on the life of the Roman general Caius Marcius Coriolanus (5th Century BC). Its themes of the military leader's discomfort with civilian rule, as well as prevailing conditions of partisanship and disparities between rich and poor in Rome at the time, has kept the play relevant throughout the centuries. Don Aucoin, the theatre critic for The Boston Globe, commented in his August 3 review that by "staging a modern-dress “Coriolanus’’ in an election year, director Maler clearly wants us to think about what qualities we seek in our leaders, and about the ways in which partisan politics — seen here in the form of a pair of scheming, demagogic Roman tribunes played by Jacqui Parker and Remo Airaldi — can poison and undermine the functioning of a republic."
Ms. Klau, the former Head of the English Department at the Groton School in Western Massachusetts, found the Boston Common performance "brilliantly acted and remarkably affecting." Although all performances are free, for a donation of $30 one can obtain "a very good seat right in front of the stage," she noted.
Head librarian Anne Smart has copies of the play available at the South End branch.
For more information about the play, call 617 426-0863 or visit www.commshakes.org.