A horror-comedy that does the unexpected? How refreshing. Steve Yockey’s latest play “Mercury,” is the perfect way to spend your evening, assuming you aren’t faint of heart. It combines humor, gore, justice and naturally a little bit of romance. This co-world premiere is a Halloween must-see.
The set designed by Gage Williams is phenomenal. It is comprised of a rotating platform that is moved by the actors, along with some disturbingly realistic elements that I won’t spoil here. Projections by Michael Horejsi, tie together a series of vignettes that are seemingly unrelated and costume design by Phillip R. Lowe displays the character’s inner-workings and personalities through their outer style. Finally, the direction of Shannon Musgrave is phenomenal. It is not easy to blend funny and deranged, or humorous and mystifying, but the direction and stellar acting manages to do so beautifully.
“Mercury” is a small cast and a short play. It runs only 90 minutes with no intermission. There are only seven actors who interact in small groups in separate scenes. This gives the play an intimate feel as if we are seeing snippets of their personal lives and how interesting of lives they are: a gay couple moved to take care of one’s ailing mother, two neighbors both sick of their husbands and a little curiosity shop owned by a couple in therapy. Nothing so terrifying about any of that. Maybe it’s the monotony of life that is so fearsome? Maybe it’s something else entirely. Find out.
“Mercury” runs Oct. 11 through Nov. 12. Shows are Wednesday through Thursday, with matinees on Sunday at 2 p.m. All other shows are at 7:30 p.m. Don’t go if you are uncomfortable with nudity, blood or violence. Or do, it’s worth it. For more information or to purchase tickets see SLAC’s website. And if you like “Mercury,” Yockey has written an even darker play being read at SLAC on Nov. 6. He calls it a “Slippery Slope,” isn’t backsliding fun?