Comment/review: TIMON OF ATHENS, the film of the stage production.

by Lynn on April 22, 2018

in The Passionate Playgoer

Time has gotten away from me.

If you have not seen the live performance of Timon of Athens at the Stratford Festival starring Joseph Ziegler, you have a chance to see the filmed performance of the production, this evening at the Cineplex Dundas Square. April 22, and you can also buy a copy of the film.

It’s the story of Timon, a magnanimous, generous man of means in Athens. He showers his friends with gifts, money and rich dinners only to let this largess get away with him and he bankrupts himself. His staff try to tell him. He won’t listen until it’s too late. When he tries to collect back loans, his friends desert him.

He is so bitter about the whole experience he leaves Athens to live like a hermit in the wilds of the country.

The production was originally directed with style for the stage by Stephen Ouimette on the Tom Paterson stage. The production is large, vibrant and busy. Filming such an enterprise is a challenge.  And while Barry Avrich who did direct the filming of the stage production has captured many telling expressions in close-ups, there is a sense of whizzing activity that can be dizzying in the combination of longshots and closeups.

Matters are much better captured in the second half when Timon is on his own in the wilderness. Joseph Ziegler as Timon is masterful in the role–jolly and accommodating in the first half with all his sycophantic friends, and angry, bitter and unforgiving in the second half, living his life with the meager root vegetables he can fine  and disappointment.

Still this is the best option available if you did not see the stage version.

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