Last Friday I watched “Venus in Fur” at Neues Schauspiel. If I wanted to, I could now go all artsy fartsy about this worthwhile production. For example about the literary significance, with the play being based on a novel by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.
Or I could go all bla di bla about the role of feminism and sexism in it. Or tell you how intriguing it is that it’s a play about a play. I could babble about the Greek and Roman mythology references. I could also point out how Roman Polanski adapted it into a tantalising French movie that did well at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
But I am not some kind of know-it-all drama intellectual, roaming Off-Broadway productions. I am just a Dutch gal that likes to have fun. So if you don’t mind, I would rather tell you how the play made me feel.
First of all, I enjoyed every minute of “Venus in Fur!”
The two actors do an excellent job at keeping the audience engaged, entertained, enticed even. Particularly their smooth and constant switching of roles deserves a huge compliment. Leading lady Madlen Meyer is delicious and very convincing as the voluptuous Vanda, the auditioning actress. And Peter Seaton-Clark shows no restraint in stepping into director Thomas’ shoes… and more.
I loved watching Madlen and Peter play. I saw the chemistry between them. Most of the time I couldn’t take my eyes off of them, except when that thunder kept rolling a tad too often. I couldn’t help but soak up what they were saying. Often their lines made me smile or laugh. But to be blunt, they also made me blush several times. My “Fifty Shades of Grey” reference is not there for nothing.
So is this a play about sex?
No, it’s not. It is about two people analysing scenes and characters of a play that is about sexual attraction and submission. Thomas starts off on the wrong foot, thinking that Vanda is just an insignificant aspiring actress, auditioning unconvincingly. Therefore he reads the male part without any passion or empathy at first. Sexual attraction and submission are merely part of the script. But after a while, both of them start feeling and living each scene more and more… need I say more? Can I say more? No, I won’t.
From now on, if ever I come across a statue of Venus, I will look at it differently. And shoes, particularly those of an undisclosed colour, will never be the same. Why? Ha! Wouldn’t you like to know? Go. Watch. That. Play.
English Theatre Leipzig presents
Neues Schauspiel Leipzig
Starring: Peter Seaton-Clark as Thomas Novacheck and Madlen Meyer as Vanda Jordan
Director resp. / Assistant Director: Florian Dedio and Julia Kragh
Producer: Tom Bailey
Thur 30 & Fri 31 March
Fri 7 & Sat 8 April
tickets 13€ or 9€ student & Leipzig Pass