Closer – Sydney Fringe Festival 2011

 “Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off, but it’s better if you do,” says Patrick Marber’s mysterious Alice. But what Closer reveals to its audience is an uncomfortably honest, intimate and voyeuristic journey into the private lives of four people struggling to find happiness.

 Sydney Fringe Festival 2011 Venue: Tap Gallery, 278 Palmer Street Thursday 8 September, 2011 
Closer“Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off, but it’s better if you do,” says Patrick Marber’s mysterious Alice. But what Closer reveals to its audience is an uncomfortably honest, intimate and voyeuristic journey into the private lives of four people struggling to find happiness.
Closer is entirely about love and sex, but Marber’s script is a collection of starkly unromantic snapshots of the most intense moments of the characters’ turbulent relationships. The story is loosely inspired by Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, but is full of hurt, anger and insightful commentary on the nature of modern relationships.
Director Glen Hamilton’s production is simple, effective and unobtrusive. The set is basic, with four white blocks indicating the various places where the action unfolds. A few props do, however, distract from the piece, including a ‘Who’ magazine which mysteriously appears in one of the most intense scenes of the play. While Hamilton clearly wanted the snapshots to feel real and natural, a magazine just feels jarring in such a deliberately undetailed physical production.
Hamilton draws the best out of the talented cast of four, all of whom have a great sense of exactly who their characters are. Naomi Livingstone, in particular, is absolutely compelling in her final scenes as Alice. While all four occasionally miss the mark with Marber’s complex dialogue, their onstage chemistry and commitment to the piece make up for any shortcomings. They thrive particularly in the moments where intense drama gives way to sly, observant comedy.
Closer is a touching, poignant reminder of the complexities of modern relationships, which will undoubtedly leave audiences thinking about their own successes and failures in life and love. 
Duration: 85 Minutes 
Performance times:Sep 10, 8:00pmSep 11, 5:00pmSep 14 – 17, 8:00pmSep 18, 5:00pm

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