The Arts Club Theatre – Venus In Fur

venus-in-furThe Arts Club Theatre Company’s Granville Island Stage got the 50th Anniversary Season underway this week with the opening of Venus In Fur. Venus In Fur is a David Mackay directed production of David Ives’ Tony Award winning play.

The play opens on Thomas, played by Vincent Gale, in a sparsely decorated, brick-walled studio space complaining to his fiance, over his mobile phone, about the inability to find the right actress for his adaptation of Venus In Fur.  As he’s about to leave in walks Vanda, a loud brassy profane blonde bombshell who at first glance seems to be the complete opposite of Thomas’ prayers. Over the course of her audition, whether she is or isn’t is left up to the viewers interpretation as the line between the play within the play is blurred. Played by Lindsey Angell, Vanda is a scenery chewing role that could easily swing into overacting but Angell holds a fine balance between comedy and farce, and, sexy and trashy.

Billed as “A Kinky Comedy”, the two person play lives up the the billing but just how kinky and how much comedy depends on personal perception. From my point of view, I didn’t feel it was too kinky but had plenty of laughs but I’m sure many people would have been scandalized by the amount of profanity, slinky costume on Angell as well as perceived and stated sexual content. I heard a few comments after the play, from my friends and others, that the jumping between the play-within-the-play and the play itself caused some confusion and broke the tension. Occasionally, the larger laughs would drown out the next line of dialogue making it hard to keep up with the scene.  Overall,  it was a thoroughly enjoyable performance from two strong actors who keep the 90 minutes from ever seeming long or unnecessary, everything is poured onto the stage.

Venus In Fur runs at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage until November 2nd, 2013. Visit ArtsClub.com for tickets and showtimes.
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