Rick Miller, Carly Street (photo by David Hou)All hail Aphrodite!
…Venus in Fur is sublime
by Dave Ross
It is this tension that so remarkably permeates the Canadian Stage production of Venus in Fur, running now at the Bluma Appel Theatre. The program notes promise us that this play blurs reality and fantasy. This language doesn’t do David Ives’s script proper justice. It doesn’t blur fantasy and reality so much as it teases at them, pokes and prods at the boundaries of these two ideas. In doing so Ives has the audience completely on its toes as to what exactly is happening on the stage. Thomas (Rick Miller), a playwright and director looks desperately to find an actress to play Vanda, the female lead in his adaptation of the story Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. In walks an actress named Vanda (Carly Street), and the story really begins. There are elements of the script that feel predictable from the moment lines are spoken. We have an actress named Vanda, with no credits to her name, who is crass, brash and loud, is drenched from a storm and hours late for her audition appointment that doesn’t exist. We have a tragic heroine, who forces Thomas to let her read, even arriving with a bag of props. She HAS to get the part. And of course Thomas will fall for Vanda as they read his steamy script. Right?
Venus in Fur runs until Oct 27 at the Bluma Appel Theatre.
Revived: To December 29