Repertory House, 167 Esk Street, Invercargill

24/04/2019 - 26/04/2019

Southland Festival of the Arts 2019

Production Details

The Play, by David Ives and directed by Gussie Johnson, features Callum Fowler as playwright Thomas Novachek, who is at a loss. There are simply no actresses talented enough to play his leading lady. Then in walks Vanda played by Maggie Watts, a mysterious siren with the uncanny ability to inhabit his character.

All bets are off when the audition quickly escalates into a seductive power play. With loads of cheek and a hint of the erotic, Venus in Fur keeps you on the edge of your seat as you question “who is really in charge here?”

Set in Modern New York City, this play within a play explores the domination of a woman over a man. Centred on an obsessive relationship between a man and the mistress who enslaves him, Venus in Fur is a seductive darkly funny, erotic story.

An R18 allocated seating event at
Invercargill Repertory Society, 167 Esk Street, Invercargill
Wed 24 – Fri 26 April 2019
Adult $30.00
Senior Citizens $20.00
Tertiary Student $15.00 and ID may be requested at time of entry
BOOK – make sure you are on the right page for the date you want. 

Pick-up Tickets
To collect internet or phone booked pick-up tickets in advance of the performance please visit the ICC Booking Office,101 Esk Street, Invercargill after 2.00pm the day following purchase (on business working days). All tickets booked for pick-up on the day of an event must be collected from the venue in the hour before the event commences. 

Wheelchair Seats
Please contact the ICC Booking Office to book. 

Show Running Time
1 hours 30 minutes (including intermission). 

Door Sales
Theatre doors open one hour prior to the performance start time for Box Office ticket sales (subject to availability). 

Drinks and snacks are available for purchase. 

Please note the promoter may enforce a lock-out, so please ensure you arrive to be seated well before show time. 

Photography & Filming
The use of cameras and other recording devices is not permitted. 

Tickets to all events at the Invercargill Repertory Society must be purchased from TICKETDIRECT or an affiliated local agency. Tickets purchased through a third party or unauthorised seller will result in your tickets being void and your access into the event  

Theatre ,

1 hr 30 min (incl. interval)

A well-paced, cracking performance

Review by Sarah McCarthy 25th Apr 2019

Venus in Fur is all about power and how it changes. The movement of power between two people in a relationship, the movement of the power between the audience and the players, how a story can be more powerful than the truth.

Repertory Invercargill’s latest offering is a beautiful reflection on power that is fully realised and understood by the actors and by veteran director Gussie Johnson.

Funny, titillating, crass yet simultaneously thought-provoking and thoughtful, it offers a measured give and take on the nature of power, of men and women, on the inward and outward dynamics of a theatre.  

Thomas (Callum Fowler) is desperately trying to cast a play but none of the women sent to him are good enough. Enter Vanda (Maggie Watts), bursting in at the exact wrong – or exactly right – time, may just be what he needs.

Fowler is brilliant here. In the gently flirtatious and frighteningly powerful back and forth, he succeeds in giving us the multi-faceted Thomas so crucial to the story. Fowler allows us to gently step into this world through his rueful exasperation – so far so every guy on stage in a play about a play ever – yet when everything starts to change we at first are pulled along with him before we turn away from him, and it is at that precise point Fowler is at his powerful, magnetic best.

Watts simply shines. She owns the space from the moment she walks onstage. Her power and control, both of her body and of the character, are palpable and compelling. At no point are we ever in doubt about who Vanda is and what she wants. Until we’re not. She is simply having so much fun at the same time; no ice queen rendering of a powerful woman here. She is gleeful, unrepentant and very, very funny. Masterful work. 

The set, also, is lovely. A dingy room is perfectly presented to us, its dimensions giving the players room to move while also being, at times, a claustrophobic space when the need arises.

Costumes here, too, deserve a mention. They are as much a character as Vanda and Thomas, and they have been thoughtfully chosen with help, I understand, from Coco Bella, an Invercargill adult store. No tacky bits and pieces here – Vanda’s costume is the real deal and the extra effort shows.

At an hour and a half with no intermission this is no quickie, yet my backside never asked what the time was – a tried and tested indicator of a well-paced and cracking performance. 


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