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Closer by Patrick Marber

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CLOSER
by Patrick Marber
Teacher Material

1. About the play.........................................................................................................................2 2. About the author ....................................................................................................................3 3. Characters...............................................................................................................................4 4. Love in the 21st century is it getting easier? (A satirical approach to the dating game ....! !. "ossible Assignments..............................................................................................................# h $escriptive%re&lective essay .................................................................................................12 'Closer is a cool dar( comedy o& se)ual desire and sel&ishnessand the illusion o& love.* +ohn ,eilpern- .he /e0 1or( 2bserver ..........................................................................................12 % Comment on that statement ta(en &rom a revie0 0ithin a descriptive%re&lective essay. .....12 % 3rite a revie0 o& Closer.......................................................................................................12 4. 5ocabulary............................................................................................................................13

6 by the vienna April 277#

theatre project

"age 1 o& 1!

Closer by Patrick Marber

Teacher Material

1. About the play When Alice is hit by a cab in London, Dan takes her to hospital and is immediately intrigued by her direct and flirtatious but also childlike nature. He breaks up present girlfriend and gets together ith Alice. During a photo shooting one and a half years later Dan meets Anna, a London based photographer, and falls in lo!e ith her. Anna, ho is fascinated by Dan, remains le!el"headed kno ing about his relationship ith Alice, hose picture she also takes. #y chance Anna meets Larry in London A$uarium. %Larry e&pected to meet an internet date net earlier.' Half a year later Anna ( no Dan !isit Anna)s pri!ate !ie A year later Larry ( no confesses sleeping together ith Larry ( is e&hibiting her pictures. Alice and and Dan again admits his lo!e to Anna. ith hen, in fact, Dan pretending to be a girl had chatted ith Larry on the ith his

married to Anna ( comes home from a business trip and

ith a prostitute. Thereby Anna tells him about her affair

Dan, hom she has been seeing e!er since her pri!ate !ie . The same e!ening Dan tells Alice about his lo!e for Anna and announces his mo!ing in together #oth Larry and Alice are de!astated. #y accident Larry meets Alice in a strip bar. Alice suddenly claims that her name as in fact *ane *ones. They ha!e an affair until Alice arranges a meeting bet een Anna and Larry, shortly after hich they get back together again. And so do Dan and Alice. +ne e!ening Dan admits to Alice ho falling out of lo!e and her lea!ing Dan. Half a year later Dan, Anna and Larry, Dan ho ha!e also split up, meet in Postman)s -ork. -ork in order to attend Alice)s as only told after her death. hether Park to discuss Alice)s death. Apparently she died in a road accident in ,e ho has been contacted is going to fly to ,e hose real name ( *ane *ones ( he funeral, much he lo!es her, hereas Alice talks about ith her.

Throughout the play the characters try to find their ideal partners, no matter their manifold se&ual encounters ( alone and lonesome. 6 by the vienna theatre project
April 277#

this means decei!ing their present ones. .ltimately, ho e!er, they are all ( despite
"age 2 o& 1!

Closer by Patrick Marber

Teacher Material

2. About the author


Taken from/ http://www.conte porarywriter!.co /author!/"p#auth2$$ %April, 0112'.

Writer %and occasional director and actor' Patrick Marber as born in London in 3456. He as educated at Wadham 7ollege, +&ford. He orked as a stand"up comedian for a number of years and then co" rote and appeared in the comedy programmes 8+n The Hour8 %9adio 6', 8The Day Today8 %##70', 8:no ing Me, :no ing -ou8 %9adio 6 and ##70', and 8Paul and Pauline 7alf8s ;ideo Diaries8 %##70'. His first play, Dealer's Choice, as first performed at the 9oyal ,ational Theatre in <ebruary 344=, transferring to the West >nd later that year. Among numerous productions across the orld the play has been produced in ,e -ork, Los Angeles, 7hicago, Melbourne, #erlin, ;ienna and ?urich. Marber8s second play, Closer %3442', premiered at the 9oyal ,ational Theatre in May 3442, transferring to the West >nd in March 344@. The play became an international hit and has been produced in more than a hundred cities in o!er thirty different languages across the orld. His latest play, Howard Katz, opened at the 9oyal ,ational Theatre in *une 0113. After Miss Julie, his free !ersion of Atrindberg8s Miss Julie, as broadcast on ##7 Tele!ision as part of the 8Performance8 series in ,o!ember 344=. A collected edition of his ork, Plays One, as published in 011B. Cn addition to directing his o n plays, Marber has directed 7raig 9aine8s 19 ! %Almeida', Dennis Potter8s "lue #e$e$%ered Hills %9oyal ,ational Theatre,
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theatre project

"age 3 o& 1!

Closer by Patrick Marber

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Lyttleton', Da!id Mamet8s &he Old 'ei(h%ourhood %9oyal 7ourt' and Harold Pinter8s &he Careta)er %7omedy Theatre'. Cn 0111 he acted in the West >nd re!i!al of Da!id Mamet8s *+eed,the,Plow, directed by Peter Dill. Cn 0116 he adapted his play Closer for the screen. Ct on and as shortlisted for se!eral a ards. He has since adapted Patrick McDrath8s Asylu$ and ?oe Heller8s 'otes on a *candal for the screen. His latest ork is on screenplays for the films &he &ourist, and Alan Partrid(e- &he Mo.ie. Patrick Marber li!es in London. %. Character! A/0C1 Alice is a !ery young girl from the .nited Atates, ho orks in London as a aitress. Her innocence on the one hand and her mysterious e&periences on the other hand are !ery intriguing. #oth Dan and Larry are fascinated by her. -et neither of them can ultimately gi!e her about her dreams, hat she really needs/ true, genuine and unselfish lo!e. +n the ishes and past. Ahe seems to be !ery sensiti!e ( she cries in one hand Alice appears as to ear her tongue on her slee!e, yet no one really kno s front of Anna, thereby admitting that Dan)s passes at Anna really hurt her ( e!en though her beha!iour is often direct and tough. Ahe dances in a bar, stripping off her clothes, yet ne!er e&posing her true feelings and soul nor her identity. At one stage, ho e!er, she admits that her real name is *ane *ones, accident soon later. DA' Dan is a annabe author, ho earns his li!ing by riting obituaries. When he meets Alice he lea!es his girlfriend and ad!entures. Alice, his ne rites a rather unsuccessful book about Alice)s past hich is only confirmed after her death. When at last she is able to see through Dan she lea!es him but dies in an

partner, ser!es as his muse, his inspiration and his only

stimulus. His lo!e for her, ho e!er, is totally egotistical and he chooses to lea!e her 6 by the vienna theatre project "age 4 o& 1!
April 277#

Closer by Patrick Marber

Teacher Material

as soon as he has con!inced Anna to be

ith him. Alice he fancied ( Anna he lo!es. hen Alice

When, ho e!er, Anna lea!es him, he is utterly de!astated and e!en stoops as lo as to !isit Larry in order to regain her. .ltimately he is left totally alone, finally sees through him and lea!es as ell.

A''A Anna is a photographer is a mature oman, ho meets both Alice and Dan during a photo shooting. Ahe ith Dan, e!en though she is ho does not easily gi!e in to Dan)s s eet talk, although she is con!inces her to get back together ith Larry,

dra n to him. A year later, ho e!er, she has an affair together ith Larry, but Alice someho chooses to li!e alone ith her dog only. /A##2 Larry is a doctor,

ho soon seems to betray her again. Ha!ing then been married t ice already she

ho tries to find some sort of fulfilment by !isiting a se& chat room. ith a prostitute. When Anna ife ith

#y accident he meets Anna and they become and item. After returning from a business trip he admits his adulterous beha!iour announces her lea!ing him for Dan, it seems as if Larry is not hurt by losing his his loneliness partly due to his desire to take re!enge on Dan he gets together he stills tries to humiliate Dan seems to be the only one lonely than the other characters. &. Lo'e in the 21!t century ( i! it )ettin) ea!ier" *A !atirical approach to the +atin) )a e,

but by the humiliation of it. Aoon later he meets Alice in a strip bar and partly due to Alice. When Anna gi!es him a second chance and he can feel safe ha!ing her back, ho comes to his surgery. At the end of the play he ho is seeing someone %his nurse'. -et, he is not any less

6 by the vienna April 277#

theatre project

"age ! o& 1!

Closer by Patrick Marber

Teacher Material

Let us agree to ans er the headline)s $uestion ith a EnoF and e all need not bother riting or reading this short essay. Ho e!er, no good essay ithout reasonable argumentation. +k, so here goes/ >!en though elderly people might assume that all is so easy for us young people, since e are not facing hunger, 30 hour ork shifts, arranged marriages, etc,G and that e therefore, could concentrate on our lo!e life to a high e&tent, the facts sho rong. C ask you/ Did they e!er partnerH Do they kno ho ait for hours in front of ic$ for a decent chat %and more' it feels hen you do not get a long desired phone callH ithin the scope of a 301

these pretentious %sorry, Drandma Marilyn and Auntie Marge' people are simply

Did they e!er ha!e to e&press their deepest feelings of lo!e

sign te&t messageH Did they ha!e mobile phone bills to payH Did they ha!e ri!als on the dating market such as D yneth Paltro , :ylie or #ritney or like ise Deorge 7looney, :eanu or 9obbie W.H C am not e!en ans ering these $uestionsI Let us assume that you make it beyond the first couple of dates, cautious phone"calls and the subtle pressure to a relationship. Then you are happy, because you found the one. -ou e!en spend eekday e!enings at your s eetheart)s place ( comfy atch *e3 and the ant to be in and if hy should e!enings in front of the telly. And at such an occasion you get to City. +f course, a break"up is preprogrammed, because you *ames #ond and Ally Mc#eal cannot cope youH We ha!e mo!ed on from Henry *ames and *ane Austen to online dating, dramatic break"ups and psycho"therapy. And that should be easierH Maybe arranged marriages do ha!e their !alues. -ou might not get least you do not ha!e to analyJe dates and ponder your e"mail ithin 0 hours. hat you ant or deser!e, but at hy he or she did not reply to

ith a long"term relationship

6 by the vienna April 277#

theatre project

"age 4 o& 1!

Closer by Patrick Marber

Teacher Material

Ho e!er, there is some spark of hope, something that makes me think that Drandma Marilyn and Auntie Marge might ha!e some point. Didn)t 7arry get Mr. #ig at the endH Maybe e Kust ha!e to display a little more patience an rite a couple of more te&t messages. $. Po!!ible A!!i)n ent! a4 Conditional sentences 7omplete the follo ing sentences/ "' Cf Alice had ne!er met Dan G.. "' Cf Alice had not gone back to ,e "' Cf Larry had not met Anna G "' Larry ould not ha!e tried to hurt Dan if G "' Dan ould do things differently if "' Cf Larry had kno n about Anna)s affair G "' Cf Anna told Dan no that she still lo!ed him G "' Alice ould not ha!e had to ork in a strip bar if G "' Cf Alice and Dan had gone on that trip together G "' Dan ould not ha!e met Anna if G "' Alice ould not ha!e met Dan if G "' Cf Larry had not chatted to Dan on the internet G %4 13tract 1 5ta)en fro$ scene 14 ALC7> DA, ALC7> DA, ALC7> DA, ALC7> DA, LGM What)s your orkH C am a G sort of Kournalist. What sortH C rite obituaries. Do you like it G in the dyin( businessH Ct)s a li!ing. Did you gro up in a gra!eyardH
"age # o& 1!

-ork G

-eah. Auburbia. 6 by the vienna theatre project


April 277#

Closer by Patrick Marber

Teacher Material

ALC7> DA, ALC7> 6uestions/

Do you think a doctor ill comeH >!entually. Does it hurtH C)ll li!e.

Where does this scene take placeH Why does Dan not say straight a ay hat sort of Kob he doesH What makes this scene kind of funnyH Why ( hen you come to think of the hole play ( is this scene highly ironic, especially hen you consider Alice)s last ordsH Assi(n$ents/ " ' +n the ne&t day Dan rites a letter to a friend telling himNher about the pre!ious day and speculating about Alice)s past. " ' 7ontinue Alice)s and Dan)s dialogue. What might they say to each other. " ' Alice rites a diary entry. Ahe talks about the day, her encounter ith Dan and her true feelings. c4 13tract 7 5ta)en fro$ scene 4 LA99A,,A LA99A,,A LA99A,,A LA99A,,A LGM C had a chat ith young Alice. <ancy herH O7ourse. ,ot as much as you. WhyH -ou)re a oman G she)s a girl. Ahe has the moronic beauty of youth but she)s got G side. Ahe seems !ery open to me. That)s ho Am C no H theatre project
"age 8 o& 1!

she wants to seem. -ou forget you)re dealing

ith a clinical

obser!er of the human carni!al.

6 by the vienna April 277#

Closer by Patrick Marber

Teacher Material

LA99A,,A

+h yes. -ou seem more like Othe cat yourself, you kno . ho got the cream.) -ou can stop licking

Pause8 Anna turns to /arry, slowly8 LA99A,,A %coolly' That)s the nastiest thing you)!e e!er said to me. Dod, C)m sorry. Ct as a horrible thing to say. Ct)s Kust G my family)s here and friends G C ha!e no e&cuse. C)m sorry. 6uestions/ "' What does Larry think of AliceH "' What does Anna think of LarryH "' Do you think that Anna feels slightly KealousH "' What does Anna mean hen she claims, E-ou seem more like Othe cat ho got the cream.) -ou can stop licking yourself, you kno .FH Has she a point thereH Assi(n$ents/ "' Write do n a scene that could follo this one. rites a diary entry and talks Dan again after almost "' <rom hat you kno , characterise Alice. "' That night, the night after Anna)s pri!ate !ie , she a year. d4 13tract ! 5ta)en fro$ scene 174 DA, Jane. Her name as *ane *ones. The police phoned me G they said that someone C kne , called *ane, had dies G %they found her address book'. C said there must be a mistake G They had to descri%e her. There)s no one else to identify the body. Ahe as knocked do n by a car G on 6Brd and Madison.
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about her impressions. Don)t forget it as the night Anna sa

theatre project

"age 9 o& 1!

Closer by Patrick Marber

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When C ent to ork today G Draham said, EWho)s on the slabHF C ent out to the fire escape and Kust G cried like a baby. C co!ered my face( hy do e do thatH A man from Treasury had died. C spent all morning G riting his obituary. There)s no space. There)s not enough G s+ace. Dan sits on the %ench with Anna8 The phone rang. Ct as the police G they said there)s no record of her parents) death G they said they ere trying to trace them. Ahe told me that she fell in lo!e ith me because G C cut off my crusts G but it as Kust G it as only that day G because the bread G %ro)e in my hands. Dan turns away fro$ Anna, loo)s at the flowers8 *ilence He turns %ac) to Anna8 C bumped into 9uth last eek. Ahe)s married. +ne kid, another on the ay. Ahe married G a Apanish +oet. He (ri$aces8 Ahe translated his ork and fell in lo!e ith him. <ell in lo!e ith a collection of poems. They ere called GP*olitudeQ. Dan holds onto the flowers8 C ha!e to put these at #lackfriars #ridge. Dan and Anna stand. C ha!e to go, C)ll miss the plane. &hey loo) at each other8 Dood"bye. A,,A -es. Dood"bye. &hey e3it se+arately8

6 by the vienna April 277#

theatre project

"age 17 o& 1!

Closer by Patrick Marber

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6uestions/ "' What ne s did Dan only no find out about AliceH "' What sho s that Dan is sad by Alice)s deathH "' Cn scene one Dan already talked about his o n and Alice)s obituary. What did he say he ould rite about herH "' What does Dan really s+ace.FH "' What does it tell you about Alice)s and Dan)s relationship hen Dan says, EAhe told me that she fell in lo!e ith me because G C cut off my crusts G but it as Kust G it as only that day G because the bread G %ro)e in my hands.FH "' Why does he get all sentimental about 9uth his e&"girlfriendH "' Do you think that the fact that 9uth)s husband)s collection of poems is called *olitude implies anythingH "' Cn hat direction is Dan and Anna)s relationship going to de!elopH Assi(n$ents/ "' At the funeral Dan meets Alice)s parents. What might they otherH Write do n their dialogue. "' After Alice)s funeral Dan rites a diary entry. "' After Alice)s death a letter addressed to Dan has been found. 7ompose that letter. "' After Alice)s death a letter addressed to Larry has been found. 7ompose that letter. e4 Ar(u$entati.e essay Closer has brought Patrick Marber international acclaim. Among other priJes it the 1.enin( *tandard A ard for #est 7omedy. 7an you imagine the 34thH What genre about the play. f4 /etter to the Patric) Mar%er
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ant to say

hen he claims, EThere)s not enough G

ant to say to each

on

hyH What makes

this play so successfulH Would it ha!e been successful in the 01 th century or e!en in ould you attribute to itH G Write an argumentati!e essay

theatre project

"age 11 o& 1!

Closer by Patrick Marber

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Write a letter to Patrick Marber telling him your true opinion about his play. -ou might ant to ask him lots of $uestions too. %-ou might ant to rite his ans er letter as ell' (4 A scene Dan returns from Alice)s funeral. He meets Anna again to tell her about ,e and other thingsG Write do n a scene that could follo Marber)s last scene. -ork

h4 Descri+ti.e,reflecti.e essay E7loser is a cool dark comedy of se&ual desire and selfishness(and the illusion of lo!e.F *ohn Heilpern, &he 'ew 2or) O%ser.er "' 7omment on that statement taken from a re!ie essay. "' Write a re!ie of Closer. ithin a descripti!e"reflecti!e

6 by the vienna April 277#

theatre project

"age 12 o& 1!

Closer by Patrick Marber

Teacher Material

-. .ocabulary obituary to scrape damsel cabbie (sl. to sneer buster to loll carcass repulsive >lac(&riars >ridge Dinotaur obit convivial raging disarming 0ai& slab pussy Chin upI sloucher .he City smug dive atrophy perineum t0at pran(
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/achru&- .odesan:eige ab(rat:en ;r<ulein .a)ler (sl. sp=ttisch l<cheln >ursche? hier auch ein @osename h<ngen- r<(eln @adaver eines .ieres abstoAend- 0ider0<rtig eine BtraAenbrCc(e Cber die.hemse Dinotaurus griech.DythologieE menschen&ressendes Fngeheuerer mit Denschenleib und Btier(op& .odestag gastlich- gesellig resend- tobend ent0a&&nend- ge0innend ,eimatlose(r Bteinplatte hierE 3hoGs on the slab? 3er be(ommt einen Hrabstein? Bchlappsch0an: @op& hochI Bchlappsch0an: >an(en% und 5ersicherungsviertel in London selbst:u&rieden Bpelun(e- miese Absteige He0ebssch0und (med. $amm (med. .rottel >ubenstreich theatre project
"age 13 o& 1!

Closer by Patrick Marber

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tosser (sl. vulg. cum (sl. vulg. &amed cra&ty on the sly ne0t pricey "ostmanGs "ar(

3ichser (sl. vulg. 3ichse (sl. vulg. Bperma berChmt ausge(ocht- schlau heimlich Dolch hierE pissed as a ne0t % total betrun(en teuer- (ostspielig ein (leiner "ar( in London /<he @ing Jd0ard BtreetLittle >ritain und Angel Btreet die Hrabsteine ehren ge0=hnliche Denschen- die bei der Kettung anderer Denschen ums Leben (amen. Jine 347L Ansicht &indet man unter httpEMM000.urban#!.orgMvistaMpostman.html

a do (coll. tosh Dan Kay @arsh >ournemouth to lur( stringy a scrap peasant (nac(ered to drool over a slag (sl. to prise chin( to sOuare a min) cop%out
6 by the vienna April 277#

;eier- "arty Nuatsch Ameri(anischer Daler und "hotograph 1ousu& @arsh ein (anadischer "hotographarmenischer ,er(un&t @Cstenort in BCdengland lauern :<h- sehnig "rCgelei >auer total gescha&&t nach et0as lech:en /utte au&stemmen Bch0achstelle ausgleichen (ec(es D<dchen- Luder &aule Ausrede theatre project
"age 14 o& 1!

Closer by Patrick Marber

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Puggernaut $ermatitis Arte&acta deluded lippy 0eary tat stabiliser to ambush callous

;ernlaster eine ;orm der Belbstverlet:ung au&grund innerer @on&li(te und psychiatrischer Bt=rungen t<uschend vorlaut lustlos- matt Bchrott BtCt:rad au&lauern- Cber&allen ge&Chllos- gleichgCltig

6 by the vienna April 277#

theatre project

"age 1! o& 1!

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