Tell us a little bit about VolponeÂ…
Volpone is a hilarious, fast-paced comedy, with a large cast all of whom have individualistic, amusing characters. This dark satire really has something for everyone. The audience follows the story of the con-artist Volpone. We meet the fortune hunters, desperate to be his heir, as well as a variety of colourful people who get caught up in this vibrant farce.
Why did you decide to bid for it?
When bidding for the Quad, we wanted to be different. Ben JonsonÂ’s Volpone has the comedic qualities we were looking for as well as some more dramatic scenes, a large mixed cast and lavish settings. It seemed to us that the Quad and Volpone would be a perfect match.
Volpone was first performed in 1606, how are you going to make it as relevant over 400 years later?
The story itself is timeless, everyone can relate to the tale of a greedy scam artist! Ben Jonson satirises the follies of society, much of which is still relevant today. The comedy is also particularly accessible for a modern audience. Through the set design we are bringing the play to the era of the 1930s and 1940s. WeÂ’ve adapted the setting to fit with the Quad, with the two grandiose settings perfectly complementing each other.
How are you finding working in the Quad?
ItÂ’s brilliant! We start off in the rehearsal rooms and now that the weather is picking up weÂ’ve moved the cast outside, which is great because everyone is getting used to the space!
How is line learning going?
Obviously some characters have large speeches, which can be more of a challenge, but already some have got their scripts down – theyÂ’re doing really well – I donÂ’t envy them!
How is the idea of the con going to work, does Volpone trick the audience as well as his victims? Will we be kept on our toes throughout?
Not giving too much away, but the plot does thicken, there are a few twists and Volpone is not the only character to watch out for.
What is the most prominent theme in the play-greed, folly or parasitism and which are you having the most fun with?
All themes are essential and are played up in different ways. The parasitism is subtly injected in the play through animalistic gesture and reflected in costume and make up. Folly runs throughout and all the cast really capture this theme.
Finally, what can we expect from this production that has been different from previous quad productions?
This production will be elaborate, the set is lavish and some scenes are drastically different, which we are hoping shall be a surprise for the audience! Our play also combines talented musicians and a display of juggling! It is also important to mention that Ben Jonson is an often an overlooked playwright of the period, and it is often the Alchemist that is more celebrated. So we hope through this production, Volpone will be recognised as a fantastic play thus giving it the due credit it deserves.
Volpone runs from 9th-12th June and shall start at 7.30pm
Tickets on sale at the Box Office at the StudentsÂ’ Union on Wednesday 28th May. They will also be selling them around campus on performance days or at nights out
The Quad production is known for selling out quickly so make sure you acquire your ticket early to avoid disappointment!