After thrilling audiences on Broadway, Queensland Theatre Company promises all the intensity, drama, and dominance that keeps us fascinated by the concept of sexual power shifting between master and slave with the Australian premiere of Venus in Fur.
The end of a long day of casting, and playwright-director Thomas can’t find the right woman. Thomas is adapting Venus In Furs, the infamously kinky 1870 novel by Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch – the etymological father of masochism. He needs someone to play a mistress – young, beautiful, sexy, and articulate with a “particle of brain”, but has endured a parade of 35 misfires.
It calls for a purring, confident dominatrix. He gets more than he expected when the raging storm blows in Vanda – late, frazzled, with the very litany of flaws hejust decried. She talks of Venus in Furs as one might talk of Fifty Shades of Grey.
As the director takes a chance and allows her to read anyway, the balance of power tilts between actress and director, mistress and slave. A risqué tale in its day and today, writer David Ives’ Venus in Fur explores a contemporary version of the saga, incorporating a fun, sexy feel to the more sinister original version.
Venus in Fur premiered at New York’s Off-Broadway theatre Classic Stage Company in 2011 before moving to Broadway and being nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. It has since been performed all over America and the world, and has been turned into a movie directed by Roman Polanski which premiered recently at the Cannes International Film Festival.
“In Venus in Fur, we see the artists exposed as they delve into characters navigating a power-ridden sexual fantasy, an exciting challenge for both Todd and Libby, and also for Director Andrea Moor,” said QTC Artistic Director, Wesley Enoch.
Enoch said he had been searching for a breakout role for Libby Munro since first seeing her at an audition over two years ago. “The role of Vanda is perfect for an actor the calibre of Libby and we are so excited she will finally be making her QTC debut with such a complex character.”
Director Andrea Moor says Sacher-Masoch’s story encompasses a rather sad underlying tale of obsession, humiliation, self-delusion and addiction. “Venus in Fur is a truly fascinating play which will allow audiences, like it has us, to examine our own relationships and motives.”
Nominated for a Tony Award in 2012, Venus in Fur is rife with sass, attitude and boundary pushing mind games. The play is based on the 19th Century erotic blockbuster novel, Venus Im Pelz (Venus in Fur) written by the father of masochism, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.
Venus in Fur
Cremorne Theatre – Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Southbank
Season continues to 27 July 2013
Bookings: 13 62 46 or online at: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au
For more information, visit: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Todd MacDonald and Libby Munro (courtesy of Queensland Theatre Company)