1 – 18 May 2008
“In Love, there is no equality.”
Elbow Room presents a sparkling new adaptation of the novel that lodged its author’s name in the
Western psyche forever.
Bratislava, Central Europe 1870. Severin – 25, artistic, born into wealth - has the world at his feet, but no love to inspire him, until he encounters an artist greater than himself. Wanda’s canvas is the human soul. Her tools are beauty, desire, and degradation. Severin will be her masterpiece.
VENUS IN FURS inspired the diagnosis of a whole new category of sexual perversion. Since the 1800s, masochism has largely shrugged off its unsavoury reputation, attaining a kind of underground ‘glamour’. Today it has well and truly been embraced by the mainstream, its ubiquity obvious in the burgeoning popularity of all forms of fetishistic entertainment, particularly the recent resurgence of burlesque. In revisiting the original text, Elbow Room brings to the stage the source of an entire genre of sexual gratification and entertainment in a timely reminder of the continuing influence of Sacher-Masoch’s novel.
Neal Harvey’s stage adaptation focuses, not on the implements of pain and pleasure that Wanda and Severin employ on each other, but on their consequences. As socially acceptable ‘definitions’ of words like ‘couple’ and ‘relationship’ change and new technologies affect he way people interact sexually and emotionally, just where does our emotional responsibility towards other human beings begin and end? Through the timeless interactions of these two lovers, this stage adaptation of VENUS IN FURS asks questions about the roles of dependence, mutuality, love and trust in relationships today.
LEOPOLD VON SACHER-MASOCH
ANGUS GRANT, KAREN ROBERTS
BEN ELTHAM, DANI KIRBY