Adapted from David Ives’ Tony award winning play and presented by and starring Wil King (DIRT), Venus in Fur is a thought-provoking and seductive play for the #metoo era.
With a simple set in Holden Street Theatre, the narrative of Venus in Fur centres around a director, Thomas, seeking his leading lady Vanda, and a mysterious yet enthusiastic late coming auditionee also named Vanda (Bridget Gao-Hollitt) with layers that unfold throughout her audition. It’s a play-within-a-play that nods to 1870 novel Venus in Furs of which the author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch inspired the term “masochism” and weaves in Greek mythology.
The acting in Venus in Fur is masterful as both Thomas and Vanda flit between themselves and the characters they’re reading for. The evolving powerplay between the two is electrically captivating. Both King and Gao-Hollitt give emotionally raw portrayals flecked with humour that give the audience a chance to catch their breath between the deeply personal scenes.
Themes of domination and submission run throughout as questions are posed as to who really holds the power in the relationships between the Thomas and Vanda, and that of Vanda and Severin, the leads in the script.
As the night goes on a storm begins outside, with the sound effects of thunder and lightning bringing a strong emotive effect to the performance.
An enthralling piece of theatre that is a must-see at this year’s Adelaide Fringe. Venus in Fur is showing at the Holden Street Theatre until Sunday, March 20. Get your tickets here.
***** Five stars.