ROME lies in Chaos. Inequality is rife, the people are starving, the politicians are corrupt, and the threat of foreign invasion grows closer every day.
In desperation, the people choose the proud and haughty soldier Caius Marcius to lead them, but when Marcius is betrayed and cast out by his political rivals, he turns his back on the state he once risked his life to protect and enters the arms of an enemy to seek his revenge.
Edinburgh University Theatre Company (EUTC) bring Shakespeare’s forgotten masterpiece to the stage of the Bedlam Theatre tonight for a five night run.
A political tragedy for the ages, brought to life in a modern style, Coriolanus is a gripping play as relevant today as when it was first performed.
Focussed on the story of Roman general Caius Marcius and exploring themes of conflict, democracy and revenge, the EUTC cast consists of 18 talented and committed young student actors under the guidance of director Joseph Macaulay, who returns after his success in directing Frankenstein with the company last year.
Earning the tag ‘forgotten masterpiece’ the Coriolanus had a difficult birth.
Although the first known performance took place at London’s Drury Lane theatre in 1682, the play itself was published nearly 60 years earlier in 1623, and it is believed by many scholars to have been written even earlier still, perhaps between 1608 and 1609.
Home to the EUTC, Bedlam Theatre is the oldest student-run theatre in the UK.
Originally the New North Free Church, built in 1849 near the site of the Edinburgh Bedlam Mental Institute, in the 1970s, the Edinburgh University Student Association took over the building for their Chaplaincy.
In 1980, it was given to the EUTC, who named the building Bedlam Theatre and now stage more than 40 shows a year in the 90 seat theatre.
Coriolanus, Bedlam Theatre, Bristo Place, tonight-Saturday, 7.30pm, £6.50, www.bedlamtheatre.co.uk