Mercury Fur, on stage at Unit 102 in Toronto, imagines how far two brothers will go to survive in a bleak dystopian future
Mercury Fur (Seven Siblings Theatre Co.) is a sobering look at a world fallen apart, and its inhabitants who do what they need to in order to survive. These desperate characters intersect as they look back to their past in order to keep them moving forward. This stark drama is currently playing at Unit 102 (376 Dufferin Street).
Written by Philip Ridley, Mercury Fur tells the story of two brothers, Elliot and Darren, and their quest to stay alive in a city where laws no longer exist. We soon learn that the things they do to survive are completely amoral, but they have no other choice. However, Elliot and Darren are still able to tap into their human side by reliving old memories. It’s these memories of their past that help them escape their nightmare-like existence. It also creates hope for the future – however bleak it may look.
The highlight of Mercury Fur, for me, was the performances. The entire cast is fantastic. There’s not one weak link to be found, and each character does a great job of bringing this story to life. It’s rare to have an ensemble this size have every character become a fully fleshed-out creation. This allows every actor to shine in their respective roles. Kudos to director Will King for bringing the best out of this cast.
Also of note is the set. Although sparse, its effective decoration made excellent use of displaying the desolate world these characters live in – a world which has fallen into ruin. The intimate space at Unit 102 perfectly complimented the intensity of the play. As an audience member, you slowly begin to feel as if you’re a fly on the wall at the party from hell.
My only gripe was the length of the show. But in all fairness, I think this had more to do with the heaviness of the material as opposed to its actual running time of two hours and fifteen minutes. It’s an intense atmosphere that rarely releases its grip. Having an intermission could be of benefit to this production.
Mercury Fur is without question a heavy, heavy play. To say this play is dark would be a ridiculous understatement. It raises interesting questions about how far a person should go in order to survive and, to a lesser extent, when hope runs out. Being a fan of darker material, I had no problems with the subject matter.
It’s a challenging piece of work in which very few of the characters have redeeming qualities. That being said, its uncompromising approach and frank language could turn some audience members off. The amount that you will enjoy this show will most likely depend on your personal taste. With its solid performances and intense energy, Mercury Fur is both an unrelenting and unapologetic piece of theatre.
Mercury Fur is playing at Unit 102 (376 Dufferin Street)
August 28-September 6, Wednesday-Saturday 8pm, Saturday-Sunday 2pm matinee
Tickets can be purchased at www.sevensiblingstheatre.ca
Photo provided by Seven Siblings Theatre Co.