By Patrick Marber

Donmar Warehouse

12 February 2015 – 04 April 2015


Closer is the third play written by English playwright Patrick Marber. The play was premiered at the Royal National Theatre’s Cottesloe Theatre in London in 1997, and made its North American debut at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway on 25 January 1999. On its premiere in 1997, Closer won Olivier, Evening Standard and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards. Since then, the play has been produced in more than 200 cities across the world. David Leveaux now brings this most intimate of plays to the Donmar stage.

Dan rescues Alice. Anna photographs Dan. Larry meets Anna online. Alice rescues Larry. This is London at the end of the twentieth century, where lives collide and fates change in an instant. The play is set in a few small locales—a hospital room, a studio, a pair of living rooms, a café, a room in the museum, in front of a photo at a showing, a doctor’s office, a bench in front of a suggested aquarium.

The text of the play insists on all settings being “minimal”. Though evocative of real happenings, the lack of physical detail in setting is meant to balance the verbal excess. Places are evoked, not shown—benches instead of the front of a museum; a large photo instead of the entire showing. According to Robert Brustein, in the original production, “Memorial blocks constitute the backdrop of the set—a design that gradually accumulates all the scenic pieces used in the play, as if these four lives were a detritus of props and furniture.” The setting is formed to be deliberately symbolic.



Nancy Carroll
Oliver Chris
Rachel Redford
Rufus Sewell


Director – David Leveaux
Designer – Bunny Christie
Lighting Designer Hugh Vanstone
Sound Designer Fergus O’Hare
Video Designer Finn Ross
Composer Corin Buckeridge




Holding the Man on DVD Here