“Mercy” has an interesting premise: what happens when a plan to use violence to “teach a lesson” turns deadly?
The lighting and set at Union Station City Stage were well-done, suggesting a prison, a cage, a cave. They added to the suspense and tension which percolates throughout the piece.
What was lacking was strong direction. The blocking was weak–often the backs of the actors were to the audience and the dialogue inaudible. The characters sometimes spoke barely above a whisper and that, too, was often inaudible. The actors were good but the characters’ interactions were often very slow and this reviewer wondered if people in such a stressful situation would talk so slowly.
The structure was interesting, allowing the audience to piece together what happened and why, and the relationships between the characters.
There is good material to work with here; it could benefit from some reworking and better direction.