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Tom Hiddleston to play Coriolanus at Donmar Warehouse

The Deep Blue Sea

Preview by Jack Foley

TOM Hiddleston is to play the title role in Coriolanus as part of the autumn season at the Donmar Warehouse.

The British actor has recently made a big impression with movie roles in films such as Thor and Marvel Avengers Assemble (playing arch-villain Loki) as well as in War Horse and The Deep Blue Sea.

But he has previously appeared at the tiny London venue in 2008 in productions of Othello and Ivanov.

Directed by Josie Rourke, the Shakespearean drama opens in December with Mark Gatiss also in the cast.

Rourke, the Donmar’s artistic director, announced the season on Monday, when she described Hiddleston as “one of our leading young classical actors”. She also said she envisaged that Coriolanus would be a “contemporary” production.

She said early discussions with 32-year-old Hiddleston about the role of the Roman general had centred on “ideas about militarism and what being an extraordinary warrior does to your mind”.

Commenting on the forthcoming season as a whole, she added: “At the centre of all these plays is a sense of young people trying to find their place in the world.”

Kicking off the season in August will be the premiere of Nick Payne’s drama The Same Deep Water As Me, which follows the fortunes of “cash for crash” lawyers.

Directed by John Crowley, the story will partly be set in the Luton offices of a personal injury claims firm and stars Daniel Mays, Nigel Lindsay and Monica Dolan.

Rourke said the play had been inspired by a meeting between Payne and her brother, who prosecutes minor fraudulent insurance claims, and focused on the idea of lying.

Payne’s most recent work, Constellations, won the Evening Standard award for best new play and was nominated for best new play at the Olivier Awards.

In October, Call The Midwife star Jessica Raine and Linda Bassett co-star in Arnold Wesker’s Roots.

A revival of Wesker’s 1958 play, the production is being directed by James Macdonald and sees Raine in the role of Beatie Bryant, a young woman finding her voice at a time of unprecedented social change.

Rourke’s next directing project is the world premiere of Matt Charman’s new work, The Machine, which chronicles the epic chess battle between Garry Kasparov and chess computer Deep Blue in 1997.