Although renowned as a fearless military leader, Caius Martius is unpopular among the plebians, the common people of Rome, who resent his arrogance and equate him with the patrician elite whom they believe to be responsible for the current food shortage. Martius in turn despises the plebians as cowardly, fickle and untrustworthy. For his extraordinary heroism in defeating the Volsces, enemies of Rome, and capturing the Volscian city of Corioles, Martius is honoured with the name of Coriolanus; he is also prevailed upon by his friends, and by his strong-willed mother, to run for consul, Rome’s highest public office. But the warrior is no politician – and he faces unaccustomed enemies in the form of two tribunes of the people, Sicinius Velutus and Junius Brutus, who fan the flames of populism against him, with catastrophic results.

Quebec director and designer Robert Lepage, in a triumphant debut at Stratford greeted by opening night calls of “bravo,” takes this complex Roman tragedy and refuses to simplify it – instead, rendering a clear and cinematic version that’s riveting, invigorating and smart. – J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail