Theatredelicatessen Stages Mercury Fur in SchoolDate: 8 February 2010
Philip Ridley’s 2005 play Mercury Fur is not a work that needs any help when it comes to controversy. The story of a pair of brothers who specialise in realising the lewd fantasies of rich clients at debauched private parties, the play includes graphic drug-taking, racism and cruelty to children. Ridley’s longterm publishers, Faber and Faber, refused to publish it and the play came in for a great deal of negative criticism during its run at Plymouth Theatre Royal and subsequent transfer to the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Yet all this is not enough, it seems, for devising company theatredelicatessen who, from 10 February to 13 March, will be staging Mercury Fur in an abandoned 1920s school at 3-4 Pinton Place, W1, a venue they are calling their new ‘theatrical squat’.
This residency follows the company’s two-year stint at Cavendish Gate, which is in the process of development into office space, retail units and apartments. While at the venue from 2008 to 2009 theatredelicatessen presented six shows, including Fanshen by David Hare and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream, the latter directed by Frances Loy, one of the company’s three artistic directors and the woman taking charge of this month’s production of Mercury Fur.
Elliot, the notorious drug-dealing lead character played by Ben Whishaw in Paines Plough’s premiere of Mercury Fur, will be portrayed in this version by Matt Granados, recently seen in Rope at the Almeida.