We went to the opening night of Timon of Athens at the National and weren’t sure what to expect, as it is such a rarely performed play; a collaboration, it is thought, between Shakespeare and Thomas Middleton that has always been considered tricky to stage. But what a revelation this brilliant production turned out to be. Two and half hours flew by. The play, about a generous philanthropist who goes broke, and is then quickly rejected by the sychophants (his friends, he thought) who so fawned over him when he was full of largess, has been set by its director, Nicholas Hytner, in modern day London. It is a decision that works brilliantly. The play feels relevant and urgent. Simon Russell Beale plays Timon and it is a masterclass of a performance. But the whole cast is flawless and compelling (the always brilliant Deborah Findlay plays Timon’s loyal ‘PA’ Flavia). The set is fantastically good too. We cannot urge you to see this play enough – especially as reviews are beginning to come out and are inevitably raves. There are some tickets available for most nights at the moment (with seats available at £12 too), but if you don’t book now you may well be disappointed. Honestly, this is one to see.