Venus in Fur (Theatre)

Black Swan State Theatre Company

It started with thunder, it ended with leather. The bits in between were OK.

Venus in Fur is the new one act, one scene play presented by Black Swan Theatre Co. written by David Ives and directed by Lawrie Cullen-Tait. Starring Felicity McKay as ‘Vanda Jordan’ and Adam Booth as ‘Thomas Novachek’, it’s a love-affair with power as the prize. Vanda and Thomas first meet in an all-too-late audition for the play Thomas is directing (coincidentally named “Venus in Furs”), and Vanda Jordan is trying out for the female lead, who is also coincidentally named “Vanda”. Essentially, the power dynamic of the director and the directed becomes inverted after they get a little too into the masochistic adaptation of the 19th century play they’re rehearsing. Now, whilst I do love me a good nested narrative, this one still left a little something to be desired. The two starring actors made up the entire cast. The oscillating characterisation made things a little bit ambiguous, which was a technique that really worked within the narratives intricate game of domination. However, whilst ViF opened with a bang, and went out with a crack, I was left almost snoring throughout the whole middle of the play. McKay gave a great performance, and her accents and stage presence were on-point. But the segments led by Booth were somewhat one-dimensional, and his accents were highly inconsistent even within the realms of his oscillating characterisation.

Raw, and -slightly- sensual, take your lover or significant other, just not your mother.

Highlights: Whip cracking, Vanda’s profanities and LonelyLingerie.

Lowlights: Adam Booth’s terrible fucking accents.

Review by Emily Purvis