Review: Venus in Fur at Fridays Studio

Venus in Fur at Fridays Studio
Thursday, November 16, 2023

Venus in Fur by David Ives, presented by Company O, unfolds with an electrifying performance that pushes the boundaries of 21st-century sexual politics and delves into a tangled web of sadomasochism, feminism, and cultural taboos. Staged at Fridays Studio, the large warehouse venue is transformed into an intimate space through simplistic staging and moody purple lighting, immersing the audience in the unfolding drama.

Codey Finlay's portrayal of Vanda steals the spotlight, skilfully switching accents and exuding a captivating allure throughout the production. Despite only debuting in 2020, she projects as a highly experienced actor.

Venus in Fur

Andrew O'Connell's nuanced performance as Thomas Novachek grew in confidence and depth as the play progressed. Novachek's interpretation of von Sacher-Masoch's work takes the audience on a thought-provoking journey, intertwining themes of power, eroticism, and feminism.

The play-within-a-play narrative introduces Vanda during a gruelling audition process, injecting Greek mythology and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's 1870 novel Venus in Furs into the mix. The dynamic between the characters, both in and out of the play, is masterfully portrayed, blurring the lines of power and control. As the characters navigate through dominance and submission, the tension between them crackles with electric intensity, challenging conventional notions of gender roles and societal expectations.

Venus in Fur

The interplay between Thomas and Vanda explores the complexities of love, power dynamics, and sexual tension, weaving an intricate tapestry that captivates and challenges the audience. As they delve into the themes of master and servant, male and female, and director and actor, the production skilfully navigates the evolving power dynamics, leaving the audience enthralled.

Venus in Fur doesn't shy away from confronting “S-and-M porn," as Vanda boldly asserts, prompting a clash of perspectives. The contrast between Thomas' reverence for the literary work and Vanda's blunt interpretation fuels an enthralling dialogue on the nature of love, desire, and power.

Overall, Company O's production of Venus in Fur delivers an exploration of sexuality, control, and the complexities of human desires. The play's provocative nature and enthralling performances leave a lasting impression on the audience, daring them to challenge their preconceptions and dive into the intoxicating world of Venus in Fur.