Join StageAgent today and unlock amazing theatre resources and opportunities. Research Playwrights, Librettists, Composers and Lyricists. Browse Theatre Writers. Four lives intertwine over the course of four and a half years in this densely-plotted, stinging look at modern love and betrayal. Twelve scenes chronicle the love affairs, rivalries, seductions, and betrayals of four characters two men, two women in a spare, intense style -- sometimes coarse, sometimes obscene, but calling for real sensitivity and vulnerability in the acting.
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Very strange feeling The play — a witty but often cruel four-hander about the romantic turmoil of four Londoners, involving overlapping relationships and betrayals — tends to elicit strong responses. An audience may feel flayed by the brutalities that unfold, as we see the first and last meetings of each swapping couple.
People who witnessed it in one of its original incarnations tend to remember the experience. Director David Leveaux certainly does. I was just startled by it; I thought it was the most brutally beautiful diamond of a play, and in its treatment of intimacy, so radical.
But that was 17 years ago; does it still have the capacity to startle? For Leveaux, it certainly does — but not because people call each other slags or compare the taste of semen. Indeed, for him, sexual explicitness was never what was shocking about it in the first place. After many millions of years of evolution, does not intimacy still have the power to startle?
Marber agrees. Hopefully one only experiences that pain three or four times in a life, but this play is a compression of all that. Which is why they both resist the notion — and Closer has had its critics — that the play is an exercise in cynicism: nasty people being nasty to each other to provoke. Having seen it performed all over the world, however, Marber does acknowledge that Closer can be played in different ways, from brutally austere to sexily passionate.
More than most, Closer is a play that will live or die on that chemistry. The play wants to be — the playwright wants it to be — a romantic comedy. It begins as a romcom and then takes a darker turn …. Trying to love and getting burned is something most of us have experienced, so Closer should still bring a punch in the guts to a whole new generation — or one perhaps whose knowledge of it extends only to the slightly strained Hollywood film adaptation, which Marber scripted, starring Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Jude Law, and Natalie Portman.
It survives intact, apparently. Why now? But back to Closer : does it cast a long shadow? On a more serious note, Marber sees football and theatre as similar beasts — both, he argues cogently, fulfil an essential human need.
Every night, every game: one off. The two exist for me in the same sort of romantic landscape: this is where people will do incredible things, beautiful things, awful things. These are two arenas where life happens, live in front of you. Brutal and gruesome, with eye-gougings and baby-eatings, it disturbed audiences and baffled critics — but it has a rare mythic power and more humane core than Kane was credited with.
It broke new ground in its candid, gently comic portrayal of gay life and love, sex and death in s London, as the Aids crisis hit. Some Voices was also made into a film in , starring Daniel Craig. Now widely seen as the play wot kicked off the whole in-yer-face thing in at the Bush theatre. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?
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It seemed a potent, haunting place for a scene about power and sex. That night I wrote a version of the lap-dance scene in Closer with characters called A and B. I wanted to figure out who the guy was, who the young woman was, and what happened to them before and after. So is Sex, Lies and Videotape , my other main influence.
Closer review – Patrick Marber's play is as powerful and pertinent as ever
Please note that this product is not available for purchase from Bloomsbury. There's a moment. There's always a moment. Dan rescues Alice. Anna photographs Dan.
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Very strange feeling The play — a witty but often cruel four-hander about the romantic turmoil of four Londoners, involving overlapping relationships and betrayals — tends to elicit strong responses. An audience may feel flayed by the brutalities that unfold, as we see the first and last meetings of each swapping couple. People who witnessed it in one of its original incarnations tend to remember the experience. Director David Leveaux certainly does.