Venus in Fur

Dates // Times

Wednesday 24 Aug // 18:30
Thursday 25 Aug // 20:00
Friday 26 Aug // 20:00
Saturday 27 Aug // 20:00
Sunday 28 Aug // 16:00
Tuesday 30 Aug // 18:30
Wednesday 31 Aug // 18:30
Thursday 1 Sep // 20:00
Friday 2 Sep // 20:00
Saturday 3 Sep // 20:00
Tuesday 6 Sep // 18:30
Wednesday 7 Sep // 18:30
Thursday 8 Sep // 20:00
Friday 9 Sep // 20:00
Saturday 10 Sep // 20:00

Auckland Theatre Company’s penultimate show of the 2016 season is a sexy, provocative and hilarious work by American playwright, David Ives. Venus in Fur, starring Morgana O’Reilly and Craig Hall, is a laugh-out-loud expose of the politics of sex and power.

The play opens with Thomas, a New York writer and director who is planning to stage his new play, Venus in Furs, based on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 19th century erotic novella. At the end of the day’s auditions, Thomas laments his failure to find that elusive perfect lead actress. Cue thunder and lightning: in tumbles Vanda – she’s late, and pretty much like all the other young wannabes – vapid, needy and crude. Not what Thomas is looking for. She’s also soaked to the skin.

As Vanda strips out of her wet clothes and wriggles into a period costume, she persuades Thomas to hear her out. What begins as a straightforward audition quickly becomes an all-engrossing battle of wits as Thomas and Vanda flip between the make-believe world of the script and the too-close-for-comfort reality. Clever and provocative, Venus in Fur tests the boundaries between dominance and submission.

Ives has a superb knack of keeping an audience guessing. He is widely celebrated for his fast-paced comic one-act plays. Venus in Fur’s play-within-a-play structure provides a brilliant thriller plot that twists and writhes into a dark, sexy comedy. Venus in Fur opened on Broadway in 2011, quickly extending its season and winning a Tony Award. In the 2013-14 it held the remarkable position of being the most produced contemporary play in the US.

Starring in Venus in Fur are two of the hottest contemporary New Zealand actors – Morgana O’Reilly (Billy, Nothing Trivial, Neighbours) and Craig Hall (A Place to Call Home (Aus.), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Outrageous Fortune)

Director Shane Bosher is no stranger to both sides of the spotlight – he was Artistic Director of Silo Theatre for 13 years and is currently busily directing shows in Australia. For ATC he was last seen onstage in the Oliver Driver-directed Jesus Christ Superstar.

18 August-18 September
Herald Theatreatc.co.nz