Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

28 May 2008

The Apocalypse

I read Philip Ridley's play Mercury Fur today. For fun (ha ha). And I'm wondering. I don't think I much dig visions of the apocalypse.

Maybe I have trouble imagining dystopias. Or maybe I just don't buy them. I believe I had a similar reaction to José Rivera's Marisol (which I think is kinda boring.)

Mercury Fur is a dystopian vision where everyone is young. There is a lone female character (whom the boys all call the "Duchess") and she is their mother, around thirty-eight years old. Everyone else in the play is younger, the oldest being twenty-three and the youngest ten. The sexuality in the play is strange (could it be anything other than strange in a world populated only by young men?) but the play's content is—in a word—horrific. The young men are throwing a party where the young boy will be eviscerated by a paying customer and a meat hook.

The play is good, and I found it emotionally wrenching, but... I don't know why I need to qualify it. The thing is, I loved Children of Men, certainly an apocalyptic vision of the world, but one that seems possible to me. Or maybe it's that Children of Men is a movie, and I can believe it more easily because I can easily see it. For some reason, I find the apocalypse on stage to be something I can't quite embrace fully. I dunno.

P.S. Any ideas what the title Mercury Fur refers to? I can't figure it out. And Google isn't being much help.