Issue 13’s Review: Closer (play)

Issue 13’s Review

Released February 2016

Closer (play) by Patrick Marber

A review by editor Kate Lomas Glendenning (this review can be found in issue 13: The Shadowed Side)

An important feature of a good play is dialogue. The expressions, actions and scenery are minor to dialogue and character development in Patrick Marber’s play, Closer. Marber captured moments of brutal honesty regarding contemporary romance and delivered a sincere account of the mess, love and perfidy caused between two couples.

In order to appreciate Marber’s play I don’t think it is necessary to be a fan of plays, but it is necessary to be sympathetic to each character. At the end of the play no character was right, they each said or did something to each other, yet that is how the play is captivating. The anger and cruelty of each character, which was especially reflective in the dialogue, was painfully realistic. 

Marber’s play is memorable because of one of his main characters, Alice. Alice was bewildering from the start; her actions and conversation made her appear to be wild and overly confident. Yet, as the play progressed, despite being a main character, Alice appeared enigmatic until the final scene. I loved her for her honesty and her understanding of how the world worked, this was reflected in her discussion with Dan on the only way you can leave someone,

“Alice:  It’s the only way to leave. “I don’t love you anymore. Goodbye.”

Dan:  Supposing you do still love them?

Alice:  You don’t leave.”

Another memorable “Alice moment” was her description of the concept of falling in love,

“That’s the most stupid expression in the world. ‘I fell in love’—as if you had no choice. There’s a moment, there’s always a moment; I can do this, I can give in to this or I can resist it. I don’t know when your moment was but I bet there was one.”

The play was adapted into a movie in 2004 with a star stamped cast of: Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Jude Law and Clive Owen. The movie remained loyal to the play but allowed itself to be glamorized by the scenery, rather then relying on the dialogue. I would recommend the play to people who aren’t offended by harsh language and are sympathetic to flawed characters with memorable lines.

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