Queensland Theatre Company will bring to the stage a smart and sexy tale about the erotics of power when it launches the Australian premiere of Venus in Fur later this month.
In our permissive century, 'S&M' is spoken about openly. Most of us know that the 's' -- sadism -- takes its name from that French libertine with a penchant for violent sex, the Marquis de Sade.
But what about the 'm' -- masochism? Less well-known is Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, whose 1870 novel, Venus in Furs, tells the story of a man so infatuated with a woman that he begs her to dominate him -- which she does (boy, how she does).
Sacher-Masoch (who also practised what he preached) had created what was to become an infamous erotic novella and, 20 years later, psychiatrists coined the term 'masochism'.
Thomas, a theatre director, is adapting the kinky novel for the stage and is auditioning for his leading lady. After a long day of auditions, he still hasn't found his dominatrix, when in sweeps Vanda, keen to strut her stuff. As she reads for the part, the balance of control gradually shifts between director and actress, and the two navigate a power-ridden sexual fantasy.
Venus in Fur was a critical and popular success when it played on Broadway. Nominated for a Tony Award in 2012, it has been widely described as smart, sexy and funny.
I'm looking forward to its Australian premiere at QPAC, where local actors Libby Munro and Todd MacDonald will play Vanda and Thomas. It's a great opportunity to see the themes of a classic literary work made accessible and entertaining for a modern audience -- and to enjoy a provocative night at the theatre.
I have two double passes to give away to a preview performance of Venus in Fur on Monday 24 June at 6.30pm at the Cremorne Theatre, QPAC.
To enter, send an email to email@example.com, with the word 'Venus' in the subject line. Tell me your name and phone number, and the name of the actress playing Vanda in the QTC production.
The competition closes midnight Thursday 20 June.
Please note that the show will contain strong and high-level coarse language, strong sexual references, and adult references to relationships, fidelity and sexuality.
Saw the preview last night, and it was an interesting and entertaining show. Strong performances from the two cast members, a window into Sacher-Masoch's novel if you haven't read it, and some modern-day perspectives that push the novel's themes into new territory. Definitely worth seeing if you can.
Update June 20th 2013
The competition has now closed and the winners have been notified. Thanks to all who entered. If you missed out on entering this time, you might like to subscribe to my articles so that you get early notice next time. ;)