Natalie Dormer and David Oakes star in the West End premiere of David Ives’ acclaimed seduction drama Venus In Fur at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Ives’ dark comedy of desire captures the power struggle between an actor and a director during an electrifying audition. This critically acclaimed two-hander follows a meeting between enigmatic actress Vanda Jordan (Dormer) and director Thomas Novachek (Oakes).

Vanda appears unannounced for an audition with Thomas, determined to land the leading role in his new production – despite seeming wrong for the part. Over an evening in downtown Manhattan, their charged meeting becomes a seductive dance to the end, in an intoxicating dark comedy of desire, fantasy and the innate love of fur.

This play within a play is an adaption of the 1870 novel Venus In Furs by the Austrian author Leopald von Sacher-Masoch, which happens to be the novel that inspired the term “masochism”. Venus In Fur originally opened off-Broadway in 2010, before opening on Broadway in 2011. This is the first time that the play has been performed in London’s West End.

Natalie Dormer is best known for her portrayal of Anne Boleyn in the television series The Tudors and Margaery Tyrell in Game Of Thrones. She made her stage debut at the Young Vic in the play Sweet Nothings, and returned to the Young Vic in 2012 taking the lead role in After Miss Julie which garnered her widespread critical acclaim.

Co-star David Oakes, meanwhile, has recently played the role of Prince Ernest in the ITV series Victoria. His stage experience includes Mr Darcy in Pride And Prejudice at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, and the role of Christopher Marlowe in the world premiere of Shakespeare In Love at the Noël Coward Theatre.

Venus In Fur is directed by Patrick Marber, and runs for a strictly limited nine week engagement.

Dramas have a rich history in the West End; find out more about plays in London.

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