National Theatre Live: Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens

by William Shakespeare

Starring Simon Russell Beale

Directed by Nicholas Hytner

Screening: Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 November*


*Check cinemas for additional sessions and variations

Running time: Approximately 3 hours (including interval)

Simon Russell Beale takes the title role in Shakespeare’s strange fable of consumption, debt and ruin, written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton.

5 STARS Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Independent on Sunday

4 STARS Daily Mail, Financial Times, Guardian, , Independent, Time Out, Times, Mail on Sunday, Metro

‘A fable about the toxic nature of a ruthlessly commercialised world.’ Guardian

‘Bold, incisive revival ... an urgent play for today.’ Daily Telegraph

‘A lacerating parable for our troubled times. A characteristically terrific performance from Simon Russell Beale.’ Evening Standard

‘Fast, venomously satirical.’ Daily Mail

'Nicholas Hytner has seized the cynical, disillusioned day. He hurls Timon into the 21st century and finds it lands there almost perfectly.’ Daily Telegraph

‘It’s a wonder we’ve had to wait until now to get a revival for Timon of Athens... Nicholas Hytner’s production is so relevant... almost flawless.’ Time Out

‘An exhilarating production featuring a compelling performance by Simon Russell Beale.’ Guardian

‘De-barnacled and bejewelled, that Bard’s tricky play shines like a topical treasure.’ Independent on Sunday


Wealthy friend to the rich and powerful, patron of the arts, ostentatious host, Timon of Athens is surrounded by free-loaders and sycophants. He vastly outspends his resources but, finding his coffers empty, reassures his loyal steward that all will be well.

When he calls upon his associates, instead of offering help, they hang him out to dry. After a final, vengeful banquet, Timon withdraws to a literal and emotional wasteland, living off roots and pouring curses on a morally bankrupt Athens.

Simon Russell Beale has been described by the Independent as ‘the greatest stage actor of his generation.’ His recent work for the National Theatre includes London Assurance, Much Ado About Nothing and Collaborators, John Hodge’s Olivier Award-nominated new play in which he portrayed Stalin.

Cast includes

Martin Chamberlain

Jason Cheater

Stavros Demetraki

Paul Dodds

Deborah Findlay

Ciaran McMenamin

Simon Russell Beale

Nick Sampson

Director: Nicholas Hytner

Designer: Tim Hatley

Lighting Designer: Bruno Poet



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