Venus in fur – play review
Among all the uncountable passions I have, there is also my love for theater. Musicals, plays, ballets… I love going to the theater. London of course offers something for everyone: West End, off West End, the Royal Albert Hall and all the small theaters scattered everywhere… it’s really hard not to find something interesting to watch.
On Monday the 6th of November I had a Theater Night (yup, using capitals on purpose, I gave it a name). This time I went to see Venus In Fur, the play starring Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell in Game Of Thrones, always #GrowingStrong) and David Oakes (famous for his role in The Borgias and The Pillars of the Earth).
The director is Patrick Marbe.
Venus in Fur is a two-actors erotic dark play set in New York City and based on the novel “Venus in Furs” by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, who inspired the word “masochism”.
Thomas Novachek (David Oakes) is a writer who adapted Sacher-Masoch’s novel for the theater. He’s desperately trying to find the female lead of his play, Wanda von Dunayev. Auditions are not going well, Novacheck is frustrated and ready to go home and give up, when suddenly an actress walks in demanding to audition for the role. Her name is Vanda Jordan (Natalie Dormer), and she looks anything but what Novacheck is looking for: vulgar, loud… not suitable for the part at all.
At first Novacheck doesn’t want to let her try the part, but Vanda pushes him into making her audition. From that moment a reverse of power begins. Vanda and Novacheck start to be more and more in tune with the characters they are portraying, until they become one with them. The line between fiction and reality first blurs and then disappears, leaving you on edge until the very end. You can read more about the script on Wikipedia.
I really enjoyed this version with Natalie Dormer and David Oakes.
The play is funny, there are a lot of moments where the public laugh out loud. Dormer and Oakes involve the audience in the power play they are portraying, while the tension slowly builds and keeps building until the very end, when you end up sitting in your chair still waiting for more.
Natalie Dormer was great, and she was able to shine a light also on David Oakes who, perhaps because of the actual meaning of the play, keeps himself in Vanda’s shadow a little bit. The only thing I didn’t like was the accent that Natalie Dormer uses when she is portraying Vanda. I guess she is trying to separate the real Vanda from the fictional one. She didn’t sound like a NYC girl would sound in my mind, she reminded me of Sophie Kachinsky from 2 Broke Girls if anything.
- Theater: Theatre Royal Market
- Address: 18 Suffolk St, London SW1Y 4HT, UK
- Contact: +44 20 7930 8800
- Price: I payed 15£ for my ticket in the stalls, row R. Yes, you are reading that right. 15£. The theater is selling 200 tickets at 15£ daily, in both the stalls and the circle. My seat was perfect. The theater is not huge, so from my position I could see the stage and the actors very well.
- Misc: The show is 1h30m with no interval. The program is 4£ and they do sell also the actual script (I think that was around 9£).
- Stage door: Both Natalie Dormer and David Oakes do the stage door. When you exit the theater keep left and take the first turn left, follow the road and turn left again. We waited about 35 minutes. You can ask either for a photo or an autograph.