Tom Hiddleston has won rave reviews for his "stellar" performance in a new London stage production of Coriolanus.
The Avengers actor is the latest big name to tackle one of William Shakespeare's plays in the British capital this season, competing with Jude Law's Hamlet and David Tennant in Richard II, which are both on stage this month (Dec13).
Hiddleston takes on the lead role in the tragedy, which opened at the Donmar Warehouse on Tuesday night (17Dec13), and his turn as the troubled Roman general has thrilled theatre critics.
Paul Taylor of The Independent brands Hiddleston "magnificent", adding that he gives a "central performance of blazing stellar power and intelligence," while The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer writes, "(The show is) often exciting and intense, with Hiddleston delivering a powerhouse performance in the title role... The mixture of charisma and emotional truth in Hiddleston's performance is very special indeed".
Michael Billington of The Guardian calls the play a "fast, witty, intelligent production," adding "Tom Hiddleston boasts a fine Coriolanus," and the London Evening Standard's Henry Hitchings concludes, "Tom Hiddleston returns to the London stage with a compelling performance... He does an impressive job of suggesting the emotional inadequacy of this self-deluding, impulsive loner..".
Speaking after the opening night performance, Hiddleston insisted he was delighted to be back on the London stage "It's such a privilege to come back.
"I've been wanting to do it for a long time and specifically to do it at the Donmar with Shakespeare which is where it started for me. Shakespeare led me to super heroes".
Hiddleston has previously credited the venue with launching his blockbuster movie career as Thor director Kenneth Branagh first spotted him on stage at the theatre in a production of Othello with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ewan McGregor.