Timon of Athens (1988): Haymarket Studio, Leicester
PrTimon of Athens (1988 to 1988)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Brian Bovell (Alcibiades); Philip Brook (Flavius); Anthony Douse (Apemantus); Guy Williams (Timon).
This production ran from 11 February - 12 March 1988.
"The production's presumably scant budget creates special problems in the play's first half. On Jocelyn Herbert's stark, rather lunar set of stiff rectilinear arches against a pitch-black surround, it appears that Timon's household has already gone into a massive economy drive. The cuisine at the banquet is not so much lean as barely existent...Brian Bovell is too teeth-baringly aggressive and cocky to be at all convincing as Alcibiades, the play's final symbol of mercy and humane compromise."
~ Paul Taylor, "Dog day afternoon", Independent, 20 February 1988
"Simon Usher opts for a spare production that is certainly no feast for the eyes. Jocelyn Herbert's set...places three open doors on a squeezed hexagon, the colours ranging between pale grey and light grey. After the interval the frames are grouped together so that the verticals become the tree trunks of the wood. This means no effective contrast between penury and beggary, and the holy restraint makes you long for some natural grub and clutter. Minimalism is what gave refinement a bad name....Brian Bovell's 'Rasta' Alcibiades, evidently en route from Jamaica to conquer Babylon, speaks law and war to rhyme with far, and doubles the length of certain syllables: 'What is thy nee-ame?'"
~ Jeremy Kingston, "Grey garbles", The Times, 18 February 1988
"Brian Bovell's khaki-uniformed Alcibiades, sporting dreadlocks, is powerfully acted, but directed to speak with broad Caribbean diphthongs that are eventually distracting: references to 'my lard' and dying 'in wah' finally grate."
~ Martin Hoyle, "Timon of Athens/Leicester", Financial Times, 19 February 1988
"There were some ostentatious, uncoordinated, and distracting touches of pretentious direction - like playing with apparently African dolls - which didn't seem to me to add anything at all to a rather tediously wordy text."
~ Robin Thornber, "Timon of Athens", Guardian, 18 February 1988