Pioneering audio commentary created of Donmar’s CORIOLANUS

Tom Hiddleston and Josie Rourke


A pioneering audio commentary is set to accompany encore screenings of the hugely successful National Theatre Live broadcast of Coriolanus, featuring an Evening Standard Award-winning performance from Tom Hiddleston. Offering a unique insight into the process of creating and performing the production on stage, the audio commentary will accompany encore screenings throughout the UK from 24 September and internationally from 12 November 2015.

As part of this new experience, audiences will be invited to download an exclusive audio commentary featuring Tom Hiddleston and director Josie Rourke, with contributions from cast members Peter de Jersey, Deborah Findlay and Hadley Fraser. Once downloaded, the audio commentary is to be listened to via smartphones alongside the National Theatre Live broadcast. The programme will be available to download for £2.99 in advance of the broadcast. To sign up to an email alert announcing when the download is available visit

This innovation was originated by Josie Rourke, director of the critically-acclaimed London Donmar production, who commented: “In a flash of inspiration, it occurred to me it might be interesting to create an actor and director commentary to accompany the Coriolanus encore screening. I thought it might add new dimension to this very new concept of taking stage to screen. I spent several months of my life thinking about little else other than Coriolanus and I hope our reflections will be interesting to those who would like to probe deeper into the production. It never happens in theatre but here you get a chance to have me and Tom in your ear as you watch the production on screen.

Award-winning actor Tom Hiddleston said: “I find the idea of a theatrical commentary fascinating. Theatre exists in the moment – that’s what makes it magic – so it’s very unusual, and very interesting, for an actor to have the opportunity to look back at a production of a live performance. At the time I was completely immersed in the character but now I’m a bit more detached I’m more able to reflect on what was going on at the time, and hopefully offer some insight into what it was like to play Coriolanus.

The audio commentary will be available to download via iTunes as part of the production’s digital programme, which also features exclusive video interviews with Rourke, Hiddleston and other members of the cast as well as other exclusive content including articles from experts in the field of Shakespeare and Coriolanus’ Rome.

National Theatre Live encore screenings of CORIOLANUS
By William Shakespeare
UK screenings from 24 September and internationally from 12 November 2015

Director Josie Rourke
Designer Lucy Osborne
Lighting Designer: Mark Henderson
Sound Designer: Emma Laxton
Video Designer: Andrzej Goulding
Composer: Michael Bruce
Movement: Jonathan Watkins
Fight Director: Richard Ryan

Cast: Jaqueline Boatswain, Peter de Jersey, Alfred Enoch, Deborah Findlay, Hadley Fraser, Mark Gatiss, Tom Hiddleston, Birgitte Hjort Sᴓrenson, Elliot Levey, Rochenda Sandall, Helen Schlesinger, Dwane Walcott.

When an old adversary threatens Rome, the city calls once more on her hero and defender: Coriolanus. But famine threatens the city, the citizens’ hunger swells to an appetite for change, and on returning from the field Coriolanus must confront the march of realpolitik and the voice of an angry people. Josie Rourke directs Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge.
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