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Venus in Fur

Oh I am tickled pink!  Not only did I love “Venus in Fur,” the new American Conservatory Theater production enough to see it again last night,  but my friends’ wonderful comments on the play and my enthusiastic endorsement now grace  A.C.T’s homepage!

 Here is the clip:

I knew of Sacher-Masoch’s “Venus in Furs” from my teenage reading forbidden books by flashlight under the sheets.  Amongst those forbidden by my parents and the Catholic church were his and those of the Marquis.

Even though I had already bought tickets for the San Francisco production when I got Race Bannon’s invitation, I jumped at the chance to see the first preview performance with many of my kink and leather friends!  And oh, did we laugh, and loved the thoughtfulness of the play.  As author Deborah Addington wrote, “it is equally brilliant in what it blurs as what it clarifies.  It takes a helluva smart play to act as dumb as this one does in the beginning.” She added, “to have issues of gender, class and power presented in a way that proffers opportunity for consideration instead of biased, ignorant opinion is a delight.”

Photo by Randy

Photo by Randy

“Venus in Fur” is “art imitating life, imitating art,” the program states, “years after its publication, Sacher-Masoch recalled an episode that he said accounted for his desire to be beaten by a woman wearing fur.”  In the modern context of a theatre audition, playwright David Ives’ fast-paced adaptation of the Sacher-Masoch novel makes those “dark truths at the heart of a violent power struggle” into a “totally present-tense play inviting actors to commit with ferocity to a high-stakes game of love and chance.”

At last night’s “On the Couch” post-performance discussion with audience members, Dr. Brad Crowell, Associate Chief of Psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, addressed concerns about consent in the ongoing power exchange.  I think it’s important that people understand what they see in plays and books like “50 Shades of Grey” is not what we stress in our community. Good point! Like the preview I had attended last week, the audience gave the actors a long standing ovation. Bravo!

Bringing “Venus in Fur” forward to the present gives those of us interested in the D/s part of BDSM and Kink an opportunity to view one of the most heralded new plays on Broadway, right here in San Francisco in the respected wonderful venue that is the American Conservatory Theater.  “Venus in Fur” runs through April 13!  Don’t miss it!

And for my French readers, I just discovered that Roman Polanski made a film of the same book last year. I just saw the preview on and would love to see the movie. Does not look like it will show in the USA except at the mysterious Tribeca film festival.  If you can direct me towards a copy or a download, please let me know. Merci.

In kink with heart,

Cléo Dubois

There’s room for just a couple more in May’s Erotic Dominance Intensive for Women! Click here to reserve!  Prefer private instruction? Visit for consultations, guided play and rituals.

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