Mercury Fur | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

This troubling 2005 thriller by British playwright Philip Ridley is set in the near future, after a terrible war, and follows a small band of thugs who stage murders for the amusement of wealthy clients. Death offers the only escape in Ridley's nasty, brutish world; Mercury Fur makes A Clockwork Orange look like cheerful children's theater. Greg Beam's pressure-cooker production for the Broken Compass is tailor-made for the intimate space where it's performed. Beam's energetic ensemble, led by James Errico and Brian Kilborn, is appropriately intense and scary. And the production moves along so quickly you never have time to reflect that this is sometimes just a very bloody, baldly manipulative melodrama. --Jack Helbig a Through 5/19: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM, Peter Jones Gallery, 1806 W. Cuyler, 773-772-0712, $10-$15.

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