February 28, 2015

Timon of Athens

You may recognise the title character, Timon, as Zeb from The Almighty Johnsons played by actor Hayden Frost. But then again, you may not. I couldn’t place the oddly familiar face until it was pointed out to me. I was blown away by his acting, his dedication to the role. In the process of researching this review I found a Tumblr devoted to him where you can see some photos from the show.

Wellington Summer Shakespeare has been running for over 30 years and is always staged outdoors. This year the venue is the dell at the Botanical Gardens. The setting was picturesque but distracting. It got cold quickly, ducks wandered through the audience, planes flew overhead and my butt went to sleep. During the intermission night fell; an appropriate atmosphere for the darker material of the latter half.

The play itself is one of Shakespeare’s lesser known, I had never heard of it. Perhaps it is so little known because it wasn’t written entirely by Shakespeare, or at least that is the current scholarly argument for why it feels so disjointed. The lack of fame is a waste of such highly quotable lines as “live loathed and long, most smiling, smooth, detested parasites” (Act 3, Scene 6). I was surprised how relevant the content was; false friends, avarice and the effects they have on a truly good person.

The costume choices and strange makeup distracted from the storyline. But I may have missed the point. Masks were prominent at the start and close, perhaps the look was meant to represent the masks we all wear. The opening was strange and prolonged but the ending was a thing of beauty.

: 13-28 February; Tuesday-Saturday 7pm, Sunday 4pm
Venue: The Dell, Wellington Botanical Gardens
Tickets: $10/15

No comments:

Post a Comment