Venus in Fur // The X Collective

Review by Anina-Marie Evans

The X Collective’s latest production, Venus in Fur, is an electrifying exploration of gender roles and sexuality that will leave you spellbound. This contemporary adaptation of David Ives’ play tells the story of an intense theater audition in modern-day New York City where powerplay takes center stage. Director Thomas Novacheck (Nick Sinclair) searches for the perfect actor to play the lead role of Vanda von Dunayev in his rendition of “Venus in Fur,” and that’s where the confident and assertive Vanda (Alyson Joyce) comes into the picture. The result is an intoxicating blend of reality and fantasy, which showcases the undeniable chemistry between the two leads.

Directed by Wayne McPhee, the show is a tantalizing journey into the world of desire and fantasy, with an intimate staging that immerses the audience in the play’s setting and the characters’ essence. McPhee’s masterful direction challenges gender stereotypes, while Sinclair and Joyce’s powerful performances never fail to captivate and engage the audience. It is, however, Alyson Joyce’s portrayal of Vanda is a tour-de-force that leaves the audience enraptured. With effortless ease, she transitions between being submissive and assertive, capturing the many nuances of her character’s personality. Her performance elevates the power dynamic between Vanda and Thomas, making it about more than just sex.

The production’s enigmatic ending is sure to provoke thought-provoking conversations about the play’s themes, especially its empowering message for women in the performing arts industry. Laura Fois’ excellent vocals add to the experience, making it an intoxicating trip that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.

The X Collective’s Venus in Fur is a must-see theatre experience that will leave you challenged and mesmerised.

Don’t miss your chance to witness this fantastic production, running until Saturday, 6 May 2023, at the Latvian Community Hall in Woolloongabba. Book your tickets now and experience this dynamic and captivating dark comedy for yourself.

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