The Tragedy of Coriolanus

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The Tragedy of Coriolanus is a tragedy by William Shakespeare ()[]

The play is popularly referred to simply as Coriolanus.

The original text

Believed to have been written between 1605 and 1608, the play is based on the life of the legendary Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into Afrikaans as Die Tragedie van Coriolanus by Anna S. Pohl, the language edited by Cor Bekker. The text published by DALRO in 1970.

Translated into Dutch as De Tragedie van Coriolanus by Tom Kleijn (copyright 2006)

In 2017 DCoriolanus, an experimental South African adaptation, inspired by the rage, distrust, hope and uncertainty triggered by what was called the FeesMustFall protests taking place on campuses across the country, was improvised by students at the University of Pretoria, under the guidance and direction of Myer Taub.

In 2011 a British film adaptation, set in a fictional Balkan country, was made of the play, directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes.[1]

Performance history in South Africa

1991: Produced in the Wits Theatre by the School of Dramatic Art (SODA) at the University of the Witwatersrand, directed and designed by Sarah Roberts.

2009: Performed by students of the Durban University of Technology, directed by Debbie Lütge.

2016: Coriolanus, directed by Rohan Quince and Nicola Pilkington, National Children’s Theatre (National School Tour), February-June 2016.

2017: DCoriolanus presented in the Die Masker ("The Mask") on the campus of the Unversity of Pretoria Drama Department, directed by Myer Taub.


David Johnson. 1996. Shakespeare and South Africa. Oxford: Clarendon.

David Johnson. 2016. 166: Coriolanus in South Africa. The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare, Cambridge University Press: pp. 1235 - 1241 [2]

Debbie Lütge. “Director’s Note: William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus.” Program for Durban University of Technology Production, 2009.

Brian Pearce. “Review of Coriolanus. Directed by Debbie Lütge.” Shakespeare in Southern Africa 21 (2009): 83–84.

Martin Orkin. 1987. Shakespeare Against Apartheid. Parklands: Ad Donker.

DCoriolanus, directed by Myer Taub (University of Pretoria, 2017). Reviewed in Business Day and in Shakespeare in Southern Africa Vol. 30, 2017.

Molly Brown. 2017. Review: Coriolanus/ Post-Coriolanus/ Counter-Coriolanus/ DCoriolanus? Shakespeare in Southern Africa Vol. 30 (pp 119-121)

Performance text of the Afrikaans version, DALRO 1970.

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