[Theatre and Physical Theatre/Drama ~ ADELAIDE FRINGE PREMIERE ~ VIC]
The Arch at Holden Street Theatres, Fri 4 Mar.
She’s late for the audition. The writer/director is leaving. She insists on auditioning. He tries to leave. She changes into period costume for ’18-whatever’ and becomes the character she is auditioning for. He can’t leave now. And he may never leave. The die is cast. The show has begun. She is perfect for the part… except she doesn’t seem to understand the play. She keeps wanting to subvert it and analyse all these hidden issues which he says are not relevant. He says they’re not there. She says they are.
They argue, dance and parry as they work their way through the script. She thinks he, the writer/director, should be in the play. He resists. Initially. Both are issuing instructions to the other. The sexual tension is palpable. Lines start blurring between the personal and professional as the emotional stakes get higher with each new scene.
VENUS IN FUR was the title of a novel from the 19th Century that gave rise to the term masochism and is a constant theme throughout the play. But who is to dominate who?
This adaptation for the stage by David Ives is powerful and provocative. Wil King and Bridget Gao-Hollitt are simply magnificent as they tease and taunt each other. Gao-Hollitt’s ability in particular to step in and out of character from the present day to the nineteenth century and back is just so impressive; it’s really quite remarkable. Wil King’s portrayal of a director gradually losing control over his script (and perhaps his life) is also beautifully played.
Engaging writing with multiple layers of complex issues to digest, and totally compelling performances from two seasoned actors combine to create this gripping piece of theatre.
VENUS IN FUR by David Ives continues at The Arch at Holden Street Theatres, at various times, until Sun 20 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.