Timon, a rich and generous Athenian, showers his friends with gifts and hospitality. Only the cynical and suspicious Apemantus and Timon’s steward, Flavius, try to stem the flow of his prodigality. At last, the money runs out and Timon turns to his fair-weather friends for help. One by one they refuse, and Timon, once the city’s most carefree philanthropist, turns into its most savage misanthrope.
In this unblinking exposé of human selfishness, absurd comedy and grotesque spectacle veer suddenly into tragic satire and savage invective. But Timon’s virulence is tempered by his vulnerability and the play also contains some of Shakespeare’s greatest poetry. This is an opportunity to see a great and fascinating work all too rarely performed.
Lucy Bailey returns to the Globe as director and William Dudley as designer. No-one who saw it could forget their overwhelming and enormously popular Titus Andronicus in 2006.