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Closer

Closer
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Biz Staff Pick!
Author: Patrick Marber
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 91
Pub. Date: 1999
ISBN-10: 0822217228
ISBN-13: 9780822217220
Cast Size: 2 female, 2 male

About the Play:

Closer was one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

Closer has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female/Female Scenes, Female/Male Scenes, and Male/Male Scenes. 

Closer is a full-length comedy by Patrick Marber. Love and anger. Hatred and longing. Seduction and sabotage. In this densely-plotted, razor-sharp look at modern relationships, a writer, a photographer, an enigmatic young woman, and a doctor become entangled through coincidences. From blind dates, to internet chat rooms, to intimate flat dwellings, to high-end strip clubs, each character fights and claws their way towards an uncertain future.

Closer is a dark, biting, and often-comical journey of four star-crossed characters sent on an emotional roller-coaster of infidelity, sexual politics, and the search for real love and happiness in our chaotic modern world. Four lives intertwine over the course of four and a half years in this densely plotted, stinging look at a quartet of strangers who meet, fall in love, and become caught up in a web of sexual desire and betrayal. Fast-paced scenes drive ever-increasing complexities. Dan, an obituary writer, meets Alice, a stripper, after an accident in the street. Eighteen months later, they are a couple, and Dan has written a novel inspired by Alice. While posing for his book jacket cover, Dan meets Anna, a photographer. He pursues her, but she rejects his advances despite their mutual attraction. Larry, a dermatologist, "meets" Dan in an internet chat room. Dan, obsessing over Anna, pretends to be her and has cybersex with Larry. They arrange to meet the next day at an aquarium. Larry arrives and so too, coincidentally, does the real Anna. This sets up a series of pass-the-lover scenes in which this quartet struggle to find intimacy but can't seem to get closer. Closer exposes its players in all of their bare naked desires as they throw down the gauntlet in a sensual game of human chess.

Closer premiered in 1997 at the Royal National Theatre in London, transferring to the West End in 1998. and won many awards, including the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy and the Olivier Award for Best New Play – the ultimate standard in British playwriting. After its Broadway premiere in 1999 at the Music Box Theatre, it won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. It went on to become a global hit and has been produced in more than 200 cities across the world. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional and college theatre productions.

Why you should read this play: A brilliant exploration into the brutal anatomy of modern love and betrayal, Closer was hailed as one of the best plays of the 1990s, and earned Patrick Marber comparisons with the emotional heavyweights of 20th-century theatre.

Cast: 2 female, 2 male

What people say:

"Love and sex are like politics: it's not what you say that matters, still less what you mean, but what you do. Patrick Marber understands this perfectly, and in Closer he has written one of the best plays of sexual politics in the language: It is right up there with Williams' Streetcar, Mamet's Oleanna, Albee's Virginia Woolf, Pinter's Old Times, and Hare's Skylight." — The Sunday Times (London)

"Closer is a sad, savvy, often funny play that casts a steely, unblinking gaze at the world of relationships and lets you come to your own conclusions … Closer does not merely hold your attention; it burrows into you." — New York Magazine

"…a brilliant and bracingly adult new play from London…bruising and beautiful, shatteringly funny and devastatingly sad. The play's dialogue has a raw emotionality rarely heard in art or life. It cuts like broken glass … full of bitter, intelligent, unvarnished truth." — Variety

"A powerful, darkly funny play about the cosmic collision between the sun of love and the comet of desire." — Newsweek Magazine

"Patrick Marber's four-hander about love, sex and relationships still has the power to wound ... Closer painfully strips back the skin to probe at how telling a lie, or confessing the truth, can be a kindness or a cruelty ... Marber's famously explicit script is as good at delivering witty zingers and power-play banter ... as it is at the revelatory moments where people seem surprised at their own capacity to feel hurt, and to hurt others." — Independent (London)

"In its cutting contemporary picture of sexual desire and emotional failure, Closer is a brilliantly unusual virtual reality that rings true. The best new play on Broadway." — New York Observer

About the Playwright:

Patrick Marber is an award-winning British playwright and screenwriter. He worked as a stand-up comedian for a number of years. He began his career as a writer in 1986. He co-wrote and appeared in a number of radio and television programs. In 1995 his first play, Dealer's Choice, premiered at the National Theatre in a production he also directed. Since then he has written plays and screenplays and also written extensively for television and radio.

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