Read an absolutely awful play yesterday ; Philip Ridley’s Mercury / Fur.
It’s one of the set text’s for my college module and it’ll be interesting to see what the tutor thinks and why they’ve suggested we read it when I get the module in the next few days.
I don’t agree with the Sunday Times comment on the back of the play that this is “the ultimate 9/11 play“. To me it came across as someone wanting to write like Sarah Kane but without the subtlety or skill. Yes I found it disturbing which I’m sure is his aim, but I’m more disturbed someone writes a play like this and that it appears to have been so highly regarded, than what it’s about.
It does have it’s moments though, the character of Elliot, is well written and I felt for his character, having intelligence yet being trapped in this hell. For me though it never really went anywhere and the ending was weak. I don’t think a play has to be nicely rounded off with a “happily ever after”, but for me this just seemed to have no reason.
Again (as with Jerusalem, mentioned on an earlier post), perhaps I don’t get it, I flicked to the introduction in the book of plays, hoping to gain some insight or explanation and all that is there are some weird ramblings. (a polite way to describe it).
I suppose I’m being spoiled with the great plays I get to study, and so the duds stand out more obviously. I read some of Pinter’s work this week, his plays are dark/disturbing, but for me hit the spot and didn’t descend to the grossness that Mercury / Fur did.
In Yer Face theatre? Perhaps, but without the wit and subtlety of Kane/Ravenhill/Marber/Penhall, that’s for sure.