Outline

Photo by Nobuyasu Yamazaki

Director Marie Gonohe presents her first production at Theatre Tram
Saki Takaoka and Junpei Mizobata take on challenging roles in a thrilling two-person play that depicts fundamental human desire

 

This August and September,Setagaya Public Theatre(SePT) presents the two-person play Venus in Fur at Theatre Tram. This piece is part of the Two-Person Plays at Tram series, which pairs up-and-coming directors with talented actors to stage two-person plays.

Written by American playwright David Ives, Venus in Fur was inspired by the novel Venus in Furs by author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, whose name is the origin of the term “masochism.” The play had its Off-Broadway premier in 2010 before moving to Broadway, and in 2013 it was adapted into a film by director Roman Polanski. Venus in Fur employs a play-within-a-play structure that blurs the lines between scenes of an actress auditioning for a director and the roles the actor and director take on in the script they read from. This work is a thrilling portrayal of fundamental human sexual desire and a truly immersive theatrical experience.

Venus in Fur is directed by Bunkgakuza theatre company’s Marie Gonohe. After gaining experience working as a director’s assistant to directors including Satishi Kamimura, in 2016 Gonohe directed her first production at the Bungakuza Atelier, a performance of Mantaro Kubota’s Helm. In addition to her work at Bungakuza, Gonohe has also gained attention for the vibrant sensibility she brought to her productions of classics by playwrights like Gorky and Chekov at the New National Theatre. Gonohe is a truly multitalented director who originally entered the theatre world with aspirations of becoming a playwright, and she continues to write actively. Her written work includes original plays, theatrical adaptations of fiction, and fairy tales. And now, Gonohe directs an official SePT production for the first time with Venus in Fur.

Saki Takaoka plays the role of the actress Vanda. This is her third consecutive year appearing in an official SePT production. Previously at SePT, she skillfully handled playing multiple roles in the three act play Time for Love, Time to Die (directed by Yuna Koyama, 2021), and she enthralled audiences with her cerebral acting and graceful stage presence in the role of Mrs. Kendall in SePT and The Globe Tokyo’s joint production of The Elephant Man (directed by Shintaro Mori, 2020).We’re excited to see how Takaoka will make use of her impressive acting chops and enrapturing stage presence to perform the role of the mysterious actress Vanda.

Junpei Mizobata plays the role of Thomas, the director who is both toyed with by and drawn to Vanda. This is Mizobata’s first performance at Theatre Tram since he gained critical acclaim for his subtle performance in Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker (directed by Shintaro Mori, 2017). This is also Mizobata’s third time appearing on stage with Saki Takaoka. These two actors are an unbeatable tag team, and they have forged a collaborative relationship of mutual trust that is sure to draw audiences into the world of the play in this performance.

Don’t miss your chance to see this visceral two-person play in the intimate space of Theatre Tram!

 

Summary

The director Thomas is holding an audition to find the perfect actress to play the leading role in his adaptation of Venus in Furs, but no one seems to be right for the role. However, just as he is about to go home, an unknown actress named Vanda shows up late to the audition. Nothing about Vanda matches his ideal, but she demands to be given a chance and he reluctantly allows her to audition. However, as Thomas reads the role of the male lead for Vanda’s audition, he finds himself drawn to her performance. He thought they would only read three pages of the script, but then…

Cast & Creative

Written by David Ives
Translated by Kayoko Joh
Directed by Marie Gonohe

Cast:
Saki Takaoka, Junpei Mizobata 

Videos

Schedule

◎= Post-performance talk will be held.※Holders of tickets for the performance may attend.
〇= Exclusive performance
△= Cameras will be installed in the audience area for recording purposes.

 

Voice Support for the Hearing Impaired (Advance Application Required/Free of Charge)

Earphones are available at the theatre lobby for lending out free of charge to hearing impaired audience members. To borrow an earphone, after purchasing your ticket, please apply to the theatre no later than three days before the performance in question.

Applications and inquiries:
Click here for inquiry form / Tel. 03-5432-1526/Fax. 03-5432-1559

Audience Support

Childcare Service

A childcare service is normally available for performances staged at Setagaya Public Theatre and Theatre Tram for which advance tickets are sold.

Charge: ¥2,200 per child
Eligibility: Children aged over 6 months and up to 9 years of age
Applications: Tel. 03-5432-1526 Setagaya Public Theatre
You may reserve childcare services up to noon of the day 3 days before the desired reservation time, but when the number of children registered reaches capacity, applications will closed. So please make your reservation well in advance. Also, please consult with the theatre regarding children with special needs.
Subcontractor: Kids’ Room Tinker bell Sancha

Wheelchair Spaces

Both Setagaya Public Theatre and Theatre Tram are equipped with wheelchair spaces to allow visitors to watch performances from their wheelchairs. However, as capacity is limited, use of wheelchair spaces is by reservation only. So please make your reservation well in advance.

Charge: 10% discount on the corresponding area ticket charge (plus up to one attendant free of charge)
Applications: Tel. 03-5432-1515 Theatre Ticket Centre