Volpone by Ben Jonson, adapted by Martin Foreman
Performances August 7th – 12th inclusive, The Royal Scots Club (241) 6:30pm
He’s dying to get rich.
Meet Volpone, a rich old man who wants to become richer still. With the aid of his servant Mosca he sets out to deceive the nobility of Venice, convincing them he is on his deathbed, which prompts them to shower him with gifts in the hope of becoming his sole heir. Buoyed by success the pair persuade the merchant Corvino to offer his beautiful wife to bring Volpone back to health. Meanwhile three English tourists become entangled in the tricksters’ increasingly convoluted schemes in this Jacobean farce. Will the sly fox Volpone face comeuppance for his greed?
A new adaptation of Ben Jonson’s work by Martin Foreman for the Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group; Foreman has updated the 17th Century script, including more topical references and with a heavier emphasis on physical and visual comedy as well as word-play and plot.
Two of the central characters have changed sex from the original script to bring greater variety to the performance. The cunning of Mosca acquires a fresh edge when tied in with the gender politics between maidservant and master. Likewise doddery Corbaccio, now Corbaccia takes on a new dimension as the wronged matriarch of her conceited son.
Director Martin Foreman’s previous Fringe productions include J B Priestley’s The Rose and Crown and Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice from the perspective of young Tadzio. He says “With a large cast spanning the generations, this adaptation is a great opportunity to introduce Jonson’s classic comedy to new audiences. The laughter thickens with each new twist in the plot as each character tries to deceive all the others.”
Volpone is a rollicking comedy which confirms that dishonesty, cunning and greed are not confined to the world of men.