Venus in Fur (Queensland Theatre Company)
QPAC, Cremorne Theatre
June 22 – July 27
This year’s Queensland Theatre Company line up is nothing if not diverse, seen most recently in the transition from Mad Max Mother Courage to Venus Vamp. With Tony nomination credentials, “Venus in Fur” has much going for it. Most notably in this production is the powerful performance from Libby Munro in what is a big, bold and perfectly cast role.
Certainly it is of credit to QTC to have secured rights to the show’s Australian premier. But Brisbane is not Broadway and it will be interesting to see how audiences here take to kink of this kind in its sexual power play subject matter between playwright-director Thomas (Todd Macdonald) and auditioning actress Vanda (Libby Munro). Maybe that will be its appeal amongst 50 Shades of Greyers.
Clever scripting results in some witty moments to content the audience. I, however, couldn’t help but wonder as to its statement regarding gender. Indeed, in an attempt to challenge the stereotype of male sexual aggression, could sassy Vanda’s sadomasochistic dominance actually be reinforcing that which it is attempting to refute? And if so, does this make for groundbreaking social comment subject matter or more of the same, just dressed (or undressed) differently.