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Guingona directs ‘Venus in Fur’


After directing and winning the Gawad Buhay 2014 for Best Male Lead Performance in a Play for Actor’s Actors Inc.’s ‘Red’, Bart Guingona is back as the director of ‘Venus in Fur’.

Jennifer Blair-Bianco and David Bianco stars in 'Venus in Fur' as Thomas Novachek and Vanda Jordan. Photograph by Jojit Lorenzo.

Jennifer Blair-Bianco and David Bianco stars in ‘Venus in Fur’ as Thomas Novachek and Vanda Jordan. Photograph by Jojit Lorenzo.


The play is a two-person play by David Ives set in modern New York City. The play had its premiere off-Broadway at the Classic Stage Company in 2010 and on Broadway in 2011.

It revolves around Thomas Novachek (David Bianco), the writer-director of a new play opening in New York City, an adaptation of the 1870 novel titled ‘Venus in Furs’ by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, which inspired the term ‘Masochism’. While Novachek was lamenting on the phone about the inadequacies of all the actresses who showed up that day to audition for the lead character, Wanda von Dunayev, a new actress named Vanda Jordan (Jennifer Blair-Bianco), the archetype of all the faults he condemned with–needy, crude, compliant, desperate.

Jordan convinces Novachek to read through his play, she as Wanda and he as Severin von Kushemski. During the process, Vanda shows astonishing insights into the novel and her character and the balance of power shifts as the actress establishes total dominance over the director, exactly reflected in the novel.

A film version of the play was shot in French, in late 2012 by director Roman Polanski. The film starred Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric.

According to Guingona in an article on Inquirer, he chose the the husband-and-wife tandem because the couple read closest to the way he saw the material.

“Since the play is provocative and sexually-charged, they don’t have to build chemistry from scratch. That part of the work is already done for me.”

The one-hour-and-half play without intermission will run for three dates–July 25 and 26 at 8pm; July 27 at 4pm, Tanghalang Huseng Batute, Cultural Center of the Philippines. Tickets are available at CCP Box Office, contact (632) 832-3704 or via Ticketworld or contact (632) 891-9999.

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