Arts Review: Mercury Fur

Fear No Colours (dir. Julia Midtgard), Gilmorehill Theatre, 4th May 2016

I came out of Philip Ridley’s Mercury Fur thinking, damn. Damn, that was good theatre. And damn, I feel violated. In the midst of cruel parties aimed at making paying clients’ wildest, darkest fantasies come true, Philip Ridley explores how far human beings are willing to go to preserve love and friendship. In an abandoned flat littered with rubbish, everything went horribly wrong.

Hallucinogenic butterflies were eaten, forgotten stories remembered, and a young boy in an Elvis Presley suit tortured with a meathook. Fear No Colours made my heart race throughout. I sweated profusely and held my breath, waiting for the next line. Some had to leave. Some covered their ears and averted their eyes. But not one instant did the performance’s intensity falter. I was drawn in despite myself. Whether during tender scenes between Elliot (Raymond Wilson) and Lola (Tom White), more humorous passages between Naz (Robert Turner) and Darren (Callum Partridge), or the gruesome demands of the Party Guest (William Watt) to Spinx (Sam Skoog), I was struck by the power and energy onstage.

The oppressive atmosphere was beautifully created, both by the variations in lighting and the recurring tune from The Sound of Music, an eerie reminder of happier times. Every character filled the space, their bodies and voices always painfully present, both onstage and off. I was not given a moment’s respite. Each moment I expected and dreaded to be the climax, and the play became one long crescendo leading the audience to its heart-wrenching, savage, and seemingly natural outcome. It is impossible to say I enjoyed Mercury Fur – its savagery does not aim to please – but Fear No Colours truly showed me the infinite possibilities of theatre. It was a dedicated, breathless, tireless display of humanity pushing the boundaries of madness and cruelty. It was the impressive (and slightly terrifying) union of amazing talent and a great text.

Mercury Fur will run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at C Cubed.

Image – Fear No Colours Facebook

[Isabelle Ribe]

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