BWW Review: FIXING TIMON OF ATHENS Delivers Modern Parable On Greed
Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare is one of his plays that scholars either group with his tragedies or as one of the so-called "problem plays". FIXING TIMON OF ATHENS is part of an on-going attempt by the Rude Mechs to make more accessible and useable pieces of theatre out of the canon of Shakespeare's problem plays. With FIXING TIMON OF ATHENS Kirk Lynn has essentially cleaned-up and streamlined the play into a ten character piece that functions as a modern and timely parable about greed.
Timon (Tom Green), the central character of the play, is a well loved citizen of Athens who spends his entire fortune on corrupt hangers-on whose only interest is in the next payout. The sole exception is Apemantia (Barbara Chisholm), a cynical philosopher. Once Timon has given away all his wealth, Flavia (Elizabeth Doss), his steward, upset by the way Timon has spent his wealth, tells him that his showering patronage on parasitic writers and artists has placed him in dire financial straits. Timon can't pay his creditors, so Flavia goes to ask his closest friends to help. When no one comes to his rescue, Timon sets about on a plot to seek revenge.
Director Madge Darlington and co-director Alexandra Bassiakou Shaw have smartly staged this reimagining of one of Shakespeare's lesser performed works. The piece now plays as a clear tale of the dangers of greed and blind philanthropy. It moves along at a brisk pace with some truly inspired moments.
The acting is top notch all the way. Memorable performances are given by Tom Green as Timon, Barbara Chisholm as Apemantia, Elizabeth Doss as Flavia, and Robert Faires as Vinnie.
The standout performance of the production; however, belongs to Jay Byrd, as Eros. Byrd has always been a fearless performer and with this role he has been given everything needed to walk away with huge chunks of the evening. He delivers a deliciously over the top performance that pretty much has the audience eating out of his hand after his spectacular first entrance.
For a fun evening of extremely accessible Shakespeare, I recommend FIXING TIMON OF ATHENS.
Running Time: Approximately Two Hours and Twenty minutes including intermission. Advisory: Lots of adult language.
FIXING TIMON OF ATHENS, produced by Rude Mechs at The Off Center (2211 Hidalgo Street, Austin, TX). Feb. 4-27th, 2016.
Thursday - Sunday at 8:00 pm. Tickets: https://www.artful.ly/rude-mechs/