Timon of Athens
November 1, 2012
Simon Russell Beale takes the title role in Shakespeare’s strange fable of consumption, debt and ruin, written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton.
Wealthy friend to the rich and powerful, patron of the arts, ostentatious host, Timon of Athens is surrounded by free-loaders and sycophants. He vastly outspends his resources but, finding his coffers empty, reassures his loyal steward that all will be well.
Methinks I could deal kingdoms to my friends,
And ne’er be weary.
When he calls upon his associates, instead of offering help, they hang him out to dry. After a final, vengeful banquet, Timon withdraws to a literal and emotional wasteland, living off roots and pouring curses on a morally bankrupt Athens.
I am Misanthropos and hate mankind.
For my part, I do wish thou wert a dog
That I might love thee something.
Simon Russell Beale has been described by the Independent as ‘the greatest stage actor of his generation.’ His recent work for the National Theatre includes London Assurance, Much Ado About Nothing and Collaborators, John Hodge’s Olivier Award-winning new play in which he portrayed Stalin.