Closer by Partick Marber

Tue 15th January to Sat 19th January 2019

Love, hate, desire and deception brought to life

I don’t recall ever before being confronted at the Harborough Theatre by so many posters preparing us for language of a blatant sexual nature.

But I doubt if the drama society has ever produced such a play as Closer by Patrick Marber, which was staged last week.

The minimalist set was stylish, enhanced by perfect lighting, and under the direction of Mark Bodicoat, the play lived and breathed as though we were witnessing real life.

Undoubtedly, some people were shocked by the script – though I didn’t see anyone walk out on the first night, at least. But to be honest, the play would have suffered massively if the language had been tempered.

Closer, which opened originally in 1997 at the National Theatre, is about the tangled relationships of two men and two women.

Love, hate, desire and deception are all woven into this complex web.

Eloise-May Rankine as Alice was the youngest actor on stage, but she took command of that part with aplomb and style, wrapping men around her little finger with ease.

Pip Nixon as Dan displayed the swagger of a young man, but also the vulnerability of an insecure person.

Nick Turrell was strong as Larry, the slightly ‘geezer-like’ doctor and provided a little humour in this play, which I was surprised to see actually won an award for Best Comedy.

As brilliant as it was, I wouldn’t have placed it in that category.

Anna Buckley was the fourth cast member as Anna, a photographer, who initially seemed impervious towards sexual temptation – but not for long!

The Harborough Theatre, and especially director Mark Bodicoat, must be congratulated for staging this incredibly challenging play.

The cast and crew rose to that challenge and I do hope that last week’s audiences did too.”

By Gordon Birch – Harborough Mail