Venus in Fur  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Venus in Fur is a two-person play set in the modern day by David Ives, which had its premiere Off-Broadway at the Classic Stage Company in 2010, and on Broadway in 2011.

Plot

Thomas Novachek is the writer-director of a new play opening in New York City; this play-within-the-play is an adaptation of the 1870 novel Venus in Furs by the Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and happens to be the novel that inspired the term Masochism. The play begins with Novachek on the telephone lamenting the inadequacies of the actresses who have showed up that day to audition for the lead character, Wanda von Dunayev. Suddenly, at the last minute, a new actress, Vanda Jordan, bursts in. At first it's hard to imagine that she will please this very particular and exasperated writer/director: She's brash, vulgar and unschooled. But she convinces him to let her audition for the part of Wanda, with the director/writer reading the part of Severin von Kushemski. Much happens during this dynamic reading, as lightning flashes and thunder crashes outside. Vanda shows astonishing insights into the novel and her character, and she performs what is in effect a terrific audition. They both become caught up in the characters they are reading. The balance of power is reversed, and the actress establishes dominance over the director, which is similar to what occurs in the novel.

Film version

Venus in Fur (film)

Director Roman Polanski shot a film version of the play, in French, in late 2012. The film stars Polanski's wife Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Venus in Fur" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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