A Directory of Shakespeare in Performance, 1970–1990 pp 1705-1718 | Cite as
Timon of Athens
[I]t is understandable why… “Timon” has to be staged—but it also has to be staged better than this. Gerald Freedman’s direction seemed oddly flaccid… He is not much helped by the company. The verse-speaking was the worst I have heard in Central Park for some seasons… [I]t was occasionally difficult to hear, and it was ungraceful to the ear and often jangled in its meaning. Shepperd Strudwick… tried hard as Timon but the part went against him. He was unable really to suggest the folly of misplaced idealism, or the rancor of misanthropy, and concentrated on a rather stiff brand of nobility… [A]’s Timon he seemed more of Central Park than of Athens. The best performance came from Michael Dunn as a spitting, spiteful vainglorious Apemantus, inordinately proud of his incorruptibility and plain-dealing. Mr. Dunn, unlike Mr. Strudwick, was perfectly at home in this Shakespearean world, and he screamed at life with a fierce and waspish abrasiveness that had a primitive savagery to it that lit up the stage on his every entry … Marco St. John played [Alcibiades]—and for this the director was equally to blame—as if he were a villain in a Victorian melodrama, lowering balefully at the audience, and generally hamming his way through a role that needs restraint if it needs anything. Ming Cho Lee’s setting, with its lofty pedestals and platforms, was fun and useful, and Theoni Aldredge’s costumes offered ornateness with style. (Clive Barnes, New York Times, 2 July 1971)
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