State Theatre Company’s Resident Director Nescha Jelk (Othello, Jesikah, Random) directs Emily Steel’s brand new adaptation of Ben Jonson’s outstanding and outrageous comedy. Starring local legend and master clown Paul Blackwell as a wealthy master of disguise and self-proclaimed ladies’ man, Volpone is set to follow up State Theatre Company’s recent tradition of comedy in winter with a dose of theatrical mayhem.
Armed with natural cunning and his wily sidekick Mosca, Volpone swindles his way through the corrupt city of Venice. From flogging snake oil to feigning his own demise, no scheme is too despicable or too outlandish in his pursuit of trinkets and trophies.
First performed in 1605, Jonson’s play is a savage satire of avarice and lust and ranks amongst the finest of Jacobean comedies. It follows the unravelling of Volpone’s greatest con – one in which he preys upon the obsessive greed of the filthy rich. With Adelaide’s favourite comic actor Paul Blackwell (Vere, When The Rain Stops Falling, The Hypochondriac) playing this Napoleon of trickery, the production promises to be gutsy, merciless in its mockery and full of inventive wit.
Playing alongside Paul Blackwell will be Matt Crook (Between Two Waves), Patrick Graham (Blasted & Pornography), Elizabeth Hay (Jesikah), Carmel Johnson (Hedda Gabler), Caroline Mignone (The Importance of Being Earnest), Geoff Revell (The Ham Funeral), James Smith (This Is Where We Live) and, in his 80th year, one of South Australia’s most distinguished and beloved actors Edwin Hodgeman, who has been performing with the State Theatre Company since 1969. His roles range right across Shakespeare’s canon; to comedy; musical theatre and cabaret. Hodgeman, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, returns to the Company for the first time since Three Sisters in 2011.
The extraordinary imaginations of Jonathan Oxlade, designer of the 2014 Helpmann Award-winning production of Pinocchio, and writer Emily Steel (Man in a Bag, Sepia) will combine to create a shiny bright new world for Volpone to live in—one that might just bear a striking likeness to our own.
Director Nescha Jelk said: “Volpone is a grotesque and wicked comedy that exposes the ugly world of Big Men with Big Money and the lengths to which they will go to in order to get more of it. As it turns out, not much has changed 400 years on; Volpone is as relevant now as it ever was.”
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season Dates: 21 Aug – 12 Sep 2015. Opening Night: Tues 25 Aug, 8pm
Tickets: $69 Full / $59 Conc / $31 Under 30s
Bookings: via BASS on 131 246 or www.bass.net.au