Review Roundup: Timon of Athens at Folger Shakespeare Theatre

Review Roundup: Timon of Athens at Folger Shakespeare Theatre

In a high-risk world of quick profits and borrowed luxury, Timon is a financial god among men. But when the tides of monetary fortune turn, and his former friends become ruthless creditors, Timon is left in an all-too-familiar financial freefall. The cast of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines' staging of Shakespeare's powerful, rarely produced dark satire is led by Tony Award winner Ian McDiarmid-an internationally celebrated actor whose credits range from performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company and on Broadway, to a turn as Senator and Evil Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars films.

Running time: About two hours, with one 15 minute intermission.

Photo credit: Ian Merrill Peakes as "Timon of Athens" at Folger. Photo by Teresa Wood.

"Timon of Athens" continues through June 11 at the Folger Theatre, 201 E. Capitol St, SE. Tickets at 202-544-7077 or online.

Check out the reviews below!


DC Theatre Scene (Tim Treanor): It was a brave man who first et an oyster, Jonathan Swift once wrote. Maybe so, but not nearly as brave as someone who seeks to stage Timon of Athens, which could otherwise be known as "Shakespeare with Writer's Block." When ranking Shakespeare's plays, most people agree that Timon is the rankest, but director Robert Richmond and the gang at Folger Shakespeare Theatre have gotten every last drop of good out of it. Though Timon is a journey without a destination, Folger makes sure that it is at least a thrilling ride.

BroadwayWorld (Roger Catlin): And certainly, throwing around the gold so freely brings the people around. In the party that begins the work, each guest is run through facial recognition and identified on screens above, which becomes a handy guide for the audience to keeping straight the cast of nearly a dozen. It is through the video screens, too that we see the transfer of large sums, as if Bitcoin or some other electronic transfer, going to each hanger-on - the painter (Andhy Mendez), the poet (Michael Dix Thomas), the merchant (Kathryn Tkel), the jeweler (Sean Fri) and so forth.

DC Metro Theater Arts (David Siegel): As convincingly portrayed by Peakes, the initially self-assured Lord Timon didn't registered with me as a man to give my unfettered sympathy. He was a conflicted complex man, cold to the touch for much of Act I. He is far from an icon of virtue who unjustly wronged, bearing no responsibility for his own downfall. Jeez, remember he doesn't even listen to his steward tell him that tough times are coming. He merely chooses shrug his shoulders and kiss off his storm warnings as if only he can know anything.

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