Volpone: Playing Up, Rondo Theatre, Bath
Rondo Theatre, Bath
A satire on greed and lust, Ben Johnson's Volpone (the fox), was first performed at The Globe by The King's Men in 1606 since when there have been numerous successful productions, both stage and screen, mostly in Europe.
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This doesn't happen to bad plays; the human nature exposed has obviously been relevant throughout and always will be.
When first performed it would have been knock about stuff and this production maintains that style with panache.
As the scheming Volpone, Michael Seeley plays the part to perfection, somewhere between Kenny Everett and Tony Robinson.
A Venetian gentleman, he pretends to be on his deathbed thus duping three wealthy men to bring him gifts as they hope to become his heir.
Servant and fellow schemer, Mosca (Darian Nelson, another spot-on performance as he manipulates all while nudging and winking his cleverness to the audience) dashes from one to the other of the hopeful three, inventing explanations as he goes.
It's a way over the top play and here gets a way over the top treatment with cash registers ringing in between scenes plus some contemporary music, dance and disco.
Several of the cast play two parts and none could be faulted.
Huge fun and much appreciated by the audience without a seat to spare on my visit, so you'll be lucky to squeeze in, but it's worth a try.
The play runs until Saturday.