Venus In Fur receives starry West End premiere

Reporter: Robin Johnson, first published Fri 12 May 2017 11:22

Natalie Dormer and David Oakes will star in the West End premiere of David Ives’ hit Broadway play Venus In Fur this autumn at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Playing for a strictly limited nine week engagement, the critically acclaimed two-hander will run from 6 October to 9 December, with opening night for press on 17 October.

The drama centres on enigmatic actress Vanda Jordan (played by Dormer), who appears unannounced for an audition with director Thomas Novachek (Oakes). She's determined to land the leading role in his new production - despite seeming wrong for the part. Over one evening in downtown Manhattan their charged meeting becomes a seductive dance to the end.

Directed by Patrick Marber, designed by Rob Howell with lighting by Hugh Vanstone and casting by Executive Producer Ilene Starger, Venus In Fur is an intoxicating dark comedy of desire, fantasy and the innate love of fur.

Dormer is best known globally for film and television roles including Margaery Tyrell in HBO series Game of Thrones, Anne Boleyn in The Tudors for Showtime, and Cressida in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2. Venus In Fur sees her reunite with Marber, who wrote After Miss Julie (Young Vic) for which she received widespread critical acclaim in the title role. 

David Oakes is best known for portraying Juan Borgia in the Emmy Award-winning Showtime Original series The Borgias, for playing William Hamleigh in Emmy Award-winning mini-series The Pillars Of The Earth, for BBC’s The White Queen in the role of George, Duke of Clarence and, most recently, on screen as Prince Ernest in ITV’s Victoria, for which he is currently filming the second series. Stage credits include Kit Marlowe in Shakespeare In Love (Nöel Coward Theatre) and Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). 

An adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novel Venus in Furs that inspired the term masochism, Venus In Fur was first performed off-Broadway, New York in 2010 with Nina Arianda and Wes Bentley, before transferring to the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway with Nina Arianda reprising the role of Vanda Jordan alongside Hugh Dancy as Thomas Novachek.

Both productions were directed by Walter Bobbie and won Arianda multiple awards including the 2011/12 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. In 2012, Roman Polanski directed a film version of the play, in French, starring Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric.

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Venus In Fur

Haymarket, Theatre Royal