An Introduction to Volpone

Volpone has long been a popular choice as a set text for students. Written by Ben Jonson, it was first produced in 1606 and billed as a comedy, although it also includes elements of tragedy and even animal fable (Volpone is Italian for ‘fox’). In essence, it’s a dark satire on greed and lust, and remains Jonson’s most performed work.

The action takes place in seventeenth-century Venice, over the course of one day. The chief characters are Volpone, a rich libertine and conman, and Mosca, his self-seeking servant. They cause chaos with an audacious fraud designed to part the city’s wealthiest from their fortunes. The tale twists and turns, as all the characters attempt to deceive each other, until the whole scheme finally collapses, with disastrous consequences for Volpone.

A great choice for students and theatre lovers

There are themes galore to explore in Volpone, a key reason for its popularity in schools and colleges. One of the most important is the power of stagecraft - Volpone doesn’t merely lie, but turns his deception into a whole production, complete with make-up, wardrobe and props. This is therefore truly a play to be seen, not just read.

In addition, it’s an excellent play to study alongside Shakespeare. Jonson and Shakespeare were contemporaries, although their approach to drama was quite different.

Of course, whether you’re a teacher, student or simply a theatre lover, Volpone, is, quite simply, great fun - its messages clearly resonating today.

Not surprisingly, Volpone is Jonson’s most performed work. As the inscription over his Westminster Abbey grave states: ‘O Rare Ben Johnson’ (sic) – and this play is indeed a rare treat to study and watch.


The Volpone 3 disc DVD pack contains:

  • The full length feature DVD, with optional subtitles.
  • The extras DVD, with in-depth interviews with cast and crew.
  • The Mastershot DVD showing all entrances/exits, and lighting and scenery changes.

NOT FOR RENTAL: This DVD is authorised for retail sale for private home use and for use within schools and educational organisations.

“The two leads have the makings of a delicious double act, Bremmer snuffling with mirth into his ginger furs as Hadfield makes boobies of the avaricious hypocrites with easy wit.”
StageOnScreen StageOnScreen StageOnScreen StageOnScreen
The Times
StageOnScreen StageOnScreen StageOnScreen StageOnScreen

Cast & Crew

Directed by Elizabeth Freestone

The Company (in order of appearance)

Richard Bremmer
Mark Hadfield
Nano / Avvocato
Conrad Westmaas
Androgyno / Avvocato
Harvey Virdi
Castrone / Peregrine / Avvocato
Edmund Kingsley
Tim Treloar
Maxwell Hutcheon
Tim Steed
Sir Politic Would-Be
James Wallace
Aislín McGuckin
Bonario / Corvino's Servant
Peter Bankolé
Lady Would-Be
Brigid Zengeni

All other parts played by members of the company

The Creative Team

Elizabeth Freestone
Set and Costume Designer
Neil Irish
Lighting Designer
Wayne Dowdeswell
Sound Designer / Composer
Adrienne Quartly
Associate Director / Movement
Stuart Angell
Casting Director
Ginny Schiller
Fight Director
Terry King
Vocal Coach
Cathy Weate
Text Consultant
Richard Twyman
Wardrobe Supervisor
Sades Robinson
Costume Assistant
Kat Cruickshank
Pippa Mawbey, Kat Cruickshank
Hair and Make Up Designer
Caroline Silk
Production Manager
Peter Williams
Company Stage Manager
Jon Swain
Deputy Stage Manager
Ben Brayshaw
Assistant Stage Manager
Eleanor Bailey
Design Assistant
Ross Edwards
Props Buyer
Susy Payne
Technical Assistant
Daniel Leman
Production Carpenter
Rae George
Production Intern
Sennita Greene
James Haddrell / Tim Sawers


3 Disc DVD Pack