Play of the Week: Timon of Athens, NT: Olivier, London SE1
Saturday 28 July 2012
A profligate philanthropist goes bust, loses his fair-weather friends and bolts to the opposite extreme, raging at mankind in exile.
In Nicholas Hytner's incisive revival, this tricky Shakespeare/Middleton collaboration becomes an urgent Play for Today, set in a capital of inequalities of wealth and "Occupy London"-style campaigners.
The play has been adapted. Some roles have been gender-swapped to allow in women – including Timon's Steward, whose devotion is beautifully conveyed by Deborah Findlay. Some have been partially rewritten, including Apemantus, played with trenchancy by Hilton McRae.
Meanwhile, Simon Russell Beale's brilliant Timon suggests that the emotional link between the beaming plutocrat in part one and the furious male bag-lady in part two is a wariness about intimacy. That's a mark of the production's excellence. It gives a sharp political context and a piercing look into the personal heart of the matter.
(020 7452 3000; nationaltheatre.org.uk) to 1 Nov
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
'Phallic symbols' found hidden in famous Pre-Raphaelite painting 'Isabella' by John Everett Millais
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer unveiled at Comic-Con
How did our legends really begin?
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
- < Previous
- Next >