‘Venus in fur’

Gordon Jones
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A recently created theatre company from Corner Brook has brought to St. John’s “Venus in Fur,” a modern American stage adaptation by David Ives of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 19th-century novel about female domination and masculine subjugation. In the modern exemplar, the duo takes the form of a theatre director/playwright auditioning in his studio an elegant actress for the role of Sacher-Masoch’s dominatrix.

Leah Pritchard and Adam Brake appear in Hard Ticket Theatre’s production of David Ives’play “Venus in Fur.” — Submitted photo

The bright and bubbly young woman arrives late, sporting very contemporary stiletto heels. Actress and director read and rehearse his script, shifting in and out of play and real life, in and out of past and present, with relations between male and female shifting, as she talks up a storm. And the play they rehearse becomes reality.

Adam Brake is the straight man in his role as rehearser and instructor, until gradually, insidiously, the balance of power shifts. Who is auditioning whom? “Is this a game?”

 Brake is strong and convincing in the role of the playwright, who becomes trapped in his own play. But the part to die for is the female lead. Leah Pritchard is luminous, bubbling and sexy in the role of Vanda, who turns the tables on her mentor.

Directed by Todd Hennessey, the Hard Ticket Theatre production of David Ives’ edgy and intriguing “Venus in Fur” continues at the LSPU Hall until Saturday, starting at 8 p.m.

Running time is a brisk 80 minutes.

The stylish show deserves bumper audiences.

Organizations: Hard Ticket Theatre

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