by Larry Murray
You could say that the play Venus in Fur is a sexy little romp. It is. But it is also more than that. It takes sex into S&M territory.
David Ives’ Venus in Fur is, at heart, a titillating comedy that illuminates one aspect of sexual desire, exploring aspects of S&M. Plays of this genre are not a frequent offering in live theatre and so there is little to measure it against. When you check, you can find S&M overtones in works such as Marat/Sade, Quills and Spring Awakening. These sorts of plays have one thing in common – the ability to outrage some, and delight others. Most likely one’s reaction will depend on their world view.
In The New York Times, Charles Isherwood observed: ”To describe Mr. Ives’s play as a sex comedy may conjure images of creaky old farces involving philandering bosses and naughty secretaries. But while it’s as funny as any play currently on Broadway, “Venus in Fur” is also something darker, stranger and altogether more delicious.”