NZ's First Production of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens
New Zealand's first production of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens in 150 years!
Want to know how a
city’s most popular and successful man can end
bankrupt and destitute? The Summer Shakespeare Trust is thrilled to
announce that 2015’s Victoria University of Wellington Summer
Shakespeare will be Timon of Athens, directed by Brett Adam, Head of
Directing at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. This once-in-a-lifetime
production of one of Shakespeare’s most timely but least-known stories
will open on Friday 13 February 2015 in the Dell, Wellington Botanic
Timon of Athens tells the tale of a
man who lives a life of opulence,
hosting lavish parties and mingling with Athens’ elite and privileged.
But the moment his cash runs out, his wealthy friends all turn their
backs on him. Exchanging the comforts of the city for the harsh
realities of the wilderness, Timon is forced to confront some harsh
truths about humanity.
“Timon of Athens is just about the most
obscure play in the canon, and
yet it’s probably the most contemporary play Shakespeare ever wrote,”
says trust co-chair David Lawrence. “After three very successful years
with popular plays, it’s time for Summer Shakespeare to take a genuine
risk with a play that never gets done.”
Well, hardly ever. The last full
production of Timon of Athens in New
Zealand was 150 years ago at the Princess Theatre in Dunedin in 1865.
The closest Wellington has come to the play was a staged reading of
key moments to accompany a lecture by the late Professor Don McKenzie
at Victoria University in 1968.
Brett Adam has international experience directing
productions. “The thing that attracted me to this play wasn’t only
its contemporary relevance but also its fable-like quality,” he says.
“It has characters and situations that we can all recognise in a story
that’s entertaining, moving and funny; the perfect play for a balmy
summer’s evening with friends and family in the Dell.”
Auditions for Timon of Athens
will take place on Saturday 13 and
Sunday 14 September 2014.