Venus in Fur calls itself with perfect accuracy “a seductive comedy about love, lust, and literature.” The play was adapted by David Ives from the novella of the same name by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (from whose name comes the term “masochism”). The award-winning director Sheriden Thomas has once again brought theatrical excellence to Tufts with this edgy, complicated treat.
The two Tufts seniors, who comprise the entire cast, play both actors and the characters themselves, moving in and out of the mundane and the imaginary, of the dominant and submissive, and of the antagonist and the flirt.
Tyler Beardsley does a nuanced job of playing Thomas, the writer who is transformed into the director and actor, pushed past his straight-laced personality into the depths of his buried kinky desires. Tessa Barlow-Ochshorn is riveting and exciting as Vanda, the name of both the disheveled, distracted actor coming to audition and the role she is trying to secure. Tessa’s performance is stunning.
Sheriden Thomas, a senior lecturer in the Department of Drama and Dance is also an actor who recently won Best Actress at the 20th Annual Independent Reviewers of New England Awards ceremony for her work in a Play Small Theater (Fringe). Her directorial decisions in Venus in Fur are flawless. For years she has chosen risky and daring plays for her students. Full disclosure – Sheriden and I are friendly.
Forgive me for repeating myself from previous reviews, but we do not sufficiently support regional and university theatre in Boston. I remember this every time I am inspired or tickled by just such a production as Venus in Fur.