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1993bhamrep

'Bill Alexander returned to Volpone with an excellent cast - Bernard Horsfall as Volpone and Gerard Murphy as Mosca.

Murphy was particularly fascinating; he created a Mosca who was greasy and servile but whose affection for Volpone early on was almost child-like. This Mosca did not want to be pushed into the final trick because he knew it would sever the bond with his master forever. Once that point had been passed, however, Murphy's Mosca went for the kill, finally remaining stonily impassive as the final judgments were handed out.

Horsfall's Volpone was a more straightforward, less enigmatic creation who was clearly having fun - something which occasionally obscured the moral dimension of what he was up to - especially in relation to Celia. Because Celia and Bonario were played in a caricature style - Bonario in particular was broadly comic as Bible toting puritan - the sense of menace in relation to Volpone was partly lost.

The set evoked fin de siecle Venice - a wooden Bridge of Sighs upstage offered a well-used upper playing area. Venice itself was rather too full of restaurant tables which had to be moved repeatedly [...]. Volpone's room was sited by using a large Klimt style backdrop with plenty of gold. When Mosca opened four trapdoors in the floor and revealed Volpone's treasure, the gold on stage was quite literally dazzling.'

Elizabeth Schafer, RORD 33 (1994), 128-9