A young playwright, Thomas, has written an adaptation of the 1870 novel "Venus in Fur" by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (after whom the term masochism was coined); the novel is the story of an obsessive adulterous relationship between a man and the mistress to whom he becomes enslaved. At the end of a long day in which the actresses Thomas auditions fail to impress him, in walks Vanda, very late and seemingly clueless, but she convinces him to give her a chance. As they perform scenes from Thomas s play, and Vanda the actor and Vanda the character gradually take control of the audition, the lines between writer, actor, director, and character begin to blur. Vanda is acting . . . or perhaps she sees in Thomas a masochist, one who desires fantasy in real life while writing fantasies for a living.
An exploration of gender roles and sexuality, in which desire twists and turns in on itself, "Venus in Fur "is also a witty, unsettling look at the art of acting onstage and off."