Mercury Fur @ Nottingham New Theatre

Claire Lennox was at opening night of the NNT’s first show of the season for twists, shocks and compelling acting.

Speculating that Mercury Fur might not live up to its reputation of being both disturbing and controversial, I took my seat thinking it could not be as dark or twisted as it was made out to be. It was.

Whilst at first the excessive amount of rubbish on the stage was distracting and intrusive, it wasn’t long before the actors earnest and compelling portrayals had drawn myself – and the rest of the disappointingly small audience – into their world.

The effective use of the stage and sound designs only added to the encompassing atmosphere that is typical of a play set in the round.

The ability of the actors to convey a dystopian world, as well as introduce an unusual twisted plot without ever making the audience doubt its believability needs to be noted.

The fractious chemistry between Elliot (Andy Routledge) and Darren (Matthew Miller) underpinned the entire play, tying together all the characters in this surreal event.

Elliot (classic older brother figure) was responsible for not only for younger brother Darren, but also for holding the entire play together. Routledge could not have done a better job.

Laura Gallop, as Naz, put in a profound yet genial performance throughout and her ability to enrapture the audience’s hearts deserves to be applauded.

The steady introduction of characters coincided with the effective increase in tension leading ultimately to a finale that was unnerving, dramatic and suitably uncomfortable (only forsaken by the ineffective gunshot sound effect that closer resembled another bottle falling over), leaving the audience in a tormented silence with tears running down many faces.

I would highly recommend you see this show– but be prepared for an experience that will further foster thoughts of a ‘big brother’ society and don’t expect to come out feeling hunky-dory.

Mercury Fur runs in the PAS in the Trent Building daily at 7.30pm until Tuesday 6th November, with a 2.30pm matinee on Sunday 3rd. Tickets are just £4 for NNT members and £5 for students. More info here.