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Mercury Fur

From 17 critic and 22 member reviews
Members say: Edgy, Intense, Great staging, Confusing, Disappointing

About the show

In its Off-Broadway premiere, The New Group's 'Mercury in Fur' is set in a dystopian future of war and drugs, where the powerful can indulge in their most sinister fantasies, and the rest survive by catering to them. More…

In a society ravaged by warring gangs and a hallucinogenic-drug epidemic, Elliot and Darren, under the sway of the ruthless entrepreneur Spinx, throw parties for rich clients in abandoned apartment buildings - parties that help guests act out their darkest, most sinister fantasies. As the teenage brothers prepare for the latest festivities, some unexpected guests threaten the balance of the world they have created. 'Mercury in Fur' is a terrifying yet tender look at just how far people will go to protect those they love the most.

The New York Times

"A play whose extreme luridness is matched, and even trumped, by its intelligence, 'Mercury Fur' is sensational in pretty much every sense of the word...a profoundly moral play, in that it asks how we define morality under extreme duress. Such morality melds with and blurs the sentimental streak of this play, which has a tight structure and exactly echoing imagery that Ibsen might appreciate...The play’s stunningly indeterminate ending leaves you moved, muddled and gasping for air." Full Review


"It's rare that a theatrical piece has the power to create real visceral dread and stomach-churning queasiness so compellingly and unapologetically. The New Group's chilling production does just that. Scott Elliott guides an extraordinary cast of young actors in a blazingly paced two hours (no intermission) filled with bizarre characters, unsettling imagery, and bloody violence...This production is unquestionably a raw, provocative, unforgettable theatrical experience worth seeing." Full Review

AM New York

"A consistently engrossing thriller, a black comedy and a sad, sympathetic portrait of young adults trying to survive in a society gone the way of 'Lord of the Flies.' Much of the dialogue consists of characters' thinking back -- or at least attempting to think back -- on their former lives. Although this slows down the plotting, their memories add intrigue, alluding to what led to this new world order and hinting that some the character relationships are deeper than expected." Full Review


"There’s nothing shy or shrunken about 'Mercury Fur,' whose Off-Broadway premiere Scott Elliott brilliantly directs. This gruesome and disturbing futuristic nightmare combines giddy post-apocalyptic fantasy with wartime stress and violence...For adults who haven’t yet had enough apocalyptic visions, and who can stomach some very tough content, this 'Mercury Fur' is a stunner." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"Mercury Fur' is an engaging theatre piece that exposes the underbelly of all that we hold to be sane, and normal, and safe. Under Scott Elliott’s exacting and thoughtful direction, the ensemble cast successfully discomfits the assembled comfortable and challenges them not only to witness the depravity of humankind but the (possible) resilience of comradeship and affection and celebrate (perhaps) the importance of protecting those whom we love despite the circumstance and cost involved." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"Ridley's play is not for the squeamish. Quite a bit of blood is spilled when the client begins to act out his gory dream. There are some inconsistencies in Ridley's dystopia...There is more to 'Mercury Fur' than the revulsion it creates. Ridley has brought the outrages of our time closer to home and cast a flashlight on where they could lead. The director Scott Elliott moves the play along at a smart pace, and an energetic cast makes it uncomfortably credible." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"'Mercury Fur,' and I think proudly so, is not for everyone. Just in terms of language alone you’re going to hear an f-bomb just about every other word, and this somehow starts to feel clean considering what else is in store... If you have any triggers for child abuse or violence this isn’t for you. If you’re into two hours of nonstop, full throttle, truly terrifying theater, 'Mercury Fur' isn’t to be missed." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"While 'Mercury Fur,' which has been tautly directed by Scott Elliott, is never dull, one watches with a kind of detachment that is surely the opposite of the playwright's intention. Simply put, the play tries too hard...In the end, 'Mercury Fur' feels like a series of shocks in search of a purpose. By the time it reaches its apocalyptic climax, you are likely to feel fatigued rather than riven with horror. That can't be what Ridley had in mind." Full Review

Time Out New York

"It helps to understand it as a very late and overwrought example of British 'in-yer-face' theater...'Mercury Fur,' first produced in England 10 years ago, feels doubly dated: Its depiction of drug-addled, amoral teens seems very ’90s, and Scott Elliott’s belated NYC premiere comes off as early Adam Rapp at his bleakest...Strictly for those who have never seen the 'in-yer-face' spectacles it strains desperately to outface." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Straining mightily for shock value and somehow managing to be simultaneously intense and tedious, 'Mercury Fur' is bound to leave audiences sharply divided...There's certainly no fault to be found with director Scott Elliott's immersive production..By the time the nihilistic proceedings reach their apocalyptic conclusion, weariness has long since set in. This is a vision of the not-so-distant future that's as relentlessly monotonous as it is bleak." Full Review

New York Daily News

"In the tense but hollow “Mercury Fur,” the delicate insects have morphed into hallucinogenic drugs with Crayola-creative names and unsettling effects...In the end, Ridley’s bleak view — love child of 'A Clockwork Orange' and the pay-for-slay horror flick 'Hostel' — stirs but doesn’t challenge or illuminate. Director Scott Elliott’s production for the New Group has its moments and a very fine cast." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"Ridley's writing is intentionally obtuse, obstructing our absorption of the situation beyond a glittering-gutter patois that occasionally sort of sounds poetic but is typically just dressed-up invective, and in any case doesn't say anything...It's more manipulative than it is mesmerizing, and more repetitive than revealing about any necessary aspect of the human character." Full Review

New York Theater

“'Mercury Fur' demands a visceral reaction far more than it allows an intellectual one...The high production values, however, do little to offset the numbing effect of what could arguably be labeled soft-core gore porn. By the time the relentless violent talk finally turned to violent action – lots of blood and gunshots – I had long before turned off and tuned out." Full Review


"'Mercury Fur' sure has the look and feel of something edgy and controversial, but the text would be more aptly described as vague and tedious...The admirable actors do as much as can be expected with the material...The audience is seated on two sides with those up front sitting on old couches and living room chairs. The intention, no doubt, is to make patrons feel like they're silent guests at the party, but there's the added bonus that it's impossible for anyone to walk out without being no... Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"If you enjoy a play that begins and ends every sentence with F…in’ this, and FU and F-that, you may be a candidate for this offensive, negative drama where people get their kicks partying in abandoned apartments, helping crazies act out their sick and sinister fantasies where killing is the opiate of the event." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"For three quarters of the time, 'Mercury Fur' has an undramatic, even desultory atmosphere, interesting only for the bits of dystopian trivia its characters dispense. Things don’t really become interesting until about a half hour before the final curtain. By then, many will not really care that much; the material grows increasingly familiar. His play seems primarily concerned with shocking the audience by its attention to physical and verbal outrageousness." Full Review

Village Voice

"A litany of tired shock tactics that manages the difficult trick of being simultaneously gory and boring...The big question hanging over the production is: To what purpose are we being scandalized...? Despite the play's moralism, Ridley is more like his main characters than he'd admit: staging prurient, pointless thrills for jaded urban appetites." Full Review

Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Epic, Riveting

See it if you want to see a masterful production with complex performances and riveting drama

Don't see it if you are weak of heart or stomach. Lots of foul language and gore with intense sequences

Intense, Absorbing, Upsetting, Compelling, Riveting

See it if you're interested in stories about surviving in a dystopian future and an exploration of who humans are at a base level.

Don't see it if you like your plays to have something to say about our current culture. This is really just an action thriller on stage.

Ambitious, Edgy, Original, Intelligent

See it if You have a strong stomach and you want to see something brutal and unique on the stage.

Don't see it if You prefer a quieter, less intense show.

Resonant, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Dark, Gritty

See it if You like dystopian stories, being in the thick of things, dark moral questions

Don't see it if you are squeamish

Original, Slow, Intense, Edgy, Great staging

See it if you want to see something unlike any play you've seen before

Don't see it if post-apocalyptic settings aren't your thing,

Edgy scary original

See it if you enjoy original, edgy British dystopian plays. End of the world teenagers behaving badly. Not for the faint of heart

Don't see it if you are squeamish.

Edgy, Uninvolving, Immersive, Over-the-top, Relevant

See it if you like dark, futuristic fantasies staged, designed, and acted with vivacity.

Don't see it if you want to relate emotionally to a story and characters. There's little light here and the acting is often forced.

Clever, Edgy, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if you like thought provoking science fiction

Don't see it if you're not a fan of post-apocalyptic dramas

Edgy, Great staging, Intelligent, Intense, Raunchy

See it if you're in the mood for something dark and intense or you like post-apocalyptic stories.

Don't see it if you're in the mood for something light and fluffy.

Violent, Dystopian, Thought-provoking, Edgy, Twisted

See it if You want a dark vision of a future where drug-addicted perverts act out their sick fantasies. Brave New Word meets A Clockwork Orange.

Don't see it if You just ate. You have a sensitive constitution or are easily offended.

Disturbing, Dystopian, Graphic, Violent, Unsettling

See it if You gravitate toward harder-edged dystopian stories like 12 Monkeys, Gattaca, Clockwork Orange.

Don't see it if Your dystopian tastes run more to Hunger Games and Planet of the Apes, and if you're averse to graphic depictions of torture and bloo

Clever, Edgy, Quirky, Confusing, Intense

See it if Like drama and violence

Don't see it if You drugs make you uncomfortable and if you don't enjoy killing.


See it if you like a very dark, almost grotesque look at humanity. Somewhat creative set, staging, and affects.

Don't see it if Blood, guts, and destruction are not your thing. It's difficult to watch and not sure it was an experience I needed to have.

Great staging, Intense, Confusing

See it if You like futuristic thrillers, into the twilight zone of the apocalypse, can sit for 2:20h with no intermission, but with great setting

Don't see it if If you are looking for a fun evening, don't like violence in a play, looking for mature acting and would like to go home with a smile

Shocking, Profane, Grim, Edgy, Disturbing

See it if you're interested in very dark, disturbing theater. Grim examinations of humanity. You like post-apocalyptic works.

Don't see it if violence, extremely heavy themes like rape and murder, or gore disturb you. Lots of shock at a high cost, not worth it.

Indulgent, Weak acting, Uneven pacing

See it if you don't mind execution being weaker than the concept.

Don't see it if being horrified while having nothing new/interesting revealed to you sounds appealing.

Arrogant, Excruciating, Ponderous, Pedestrian, Strident

See it if Your idea of the future is a campy wasteland populated by teenage criminals trying to act either tough or scared. Unconvincing at best.

Don't see it if Artificial blood reminds you of finger-painting and threatening gestures are all you want from a drama.

Boring, Endless, Not shocking, Pretentious, Bad script

See it if you find cheap shock value effective. You can read more into a show than what's there. You have a high tolerance for tedium.

Don't see it if you value strong characterization and a story that actually makes sense. This dystopian world is not internally consistent. Bad acting.

Confusing, Disappointing

See it if This was 1 of the mostI awful plays I ever saw . It made absolutely no sense, and was so disgusting, violent, and offensive.

Don't see it if You don't like boring disgusting shows that run 2 1/2 hours without intermission and would be bothered with patrons leaving throughout

Excruciating, Confusing, Disappointing, Edgy

See it if You like blood, gore and violence on stage.

Don't see it if Don't see it. It was very unpleasant. And there's no intermission, so you're trapped.

Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated, Indulgent

See it if you are a masochist who likes self-indulgent sophomoric amateurish waste of time

Don't see it if you have ABSOLUTELY anything better to do! the WORST thing I have ever seen in 50 years of theater going....everything about it BAD!

Ambitious, Banal, Disappointing, Edgy, Intense

See it if you want to see a notable play from 2005 and don't mind energetic if untrained actors.

Don't see it if you are easily upset or can't stand the sight of (stage) blood.

Cast & Creatives (15)