Marrow is a love letter to memory and to what makes us: us. It pivots around the vicious hate attack on a young gay dancer and how his recovery forces the memories of himself to swirl in his semi-consciousness: tangible yet ephemeral, vivid, euphoric.
A love letter to memory
Whilst recovering from the brutality of a homophobic attack, the central character veers in and out of consciousness: the conscious slurred and frustrated whilst the unconscious rather more fluently relives memories of happiness, sorrow, pride, optimisim, love. The cruelty of communicative skills stunted by terrible injury forces memories to the fore and relationships are tested as the man in the bed is not the man of the past.
Craig MacArthur is the indefatigable powerhouse at the heart of Brian Quirk’s script, holding the audience rapt as he switches between characters, moods and situations with a quicksilver dexterity. It is, at times, tricky to discern which and who of the supporting cast are speaking, but we will give this the benefit of the doubt and suppose this to be a deliberate design feature… chosen specifically to disorient the audience. The piece does adroitly creating a feeling of nightmarish delirium which seems simple on screen and is fiendishly difficult onstage. Nothing is as it seems. Perhaps, not even, oneself.
Uncompromising and unapologetic without ever becoming deliberately sensational, this is a hard-hitting hour which refuses to allow the initial crime itself to take centre stage. Instead, the attack is reduced to what it should be: a footnote of abomination in the otherwise kaleidoscopic life of a beautiful, free and much-loved young soul.