Saturday, May 28th, 2016

SEX, dishonesty and betrayal come to the fore as strangers become lovers – and lovers become strangers – in a play at the Old Mill Theatre this June.

Written by Patrick Marber and directed by Trevor Dhu, Closer explores the raw nerve of pain that comes with the territory of love as the romantic lives of four characters intertwine in contemporary London.

Over four years, Dan, Alice, Larry and Anna pursue their own desires as lives collide and fates change in an instant with each character crossing the line between love and sex and then lust.

Closer won the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for best new play and has been translated into 30 languages and produced in more than 200 cities across the world.

In 2004, Marber adapted the play into a film featuring Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Clive Owen. He also wrote the screenplay for Notes on a Scandal.

Closer is like watching life through a voyeuristic point of view and sharing the sex, lust and loss,” Dhu said.

“Everyone loses – one character doesn’t want to have a relationship again and another marries on a premise, not love.

“Another character disappears, preferring a life of chance, and then someone else ends up alone, regretting a return to mundane life.

“Getting the actors to perform realistically and confront a difficultly-written play with so many scene changes is the main challenge.

“The method required by the actors needs to draw on some aspect of their past, not be a contrived style of acting.”

Involved in the performing arts for as long as he can remember, Dhu has worked with Patch and Playhouse Theatres, Perth City Ballet and did extensive professional work with the Australian Dance Theatre in the eastern states.

More recently, he has directed, choreographed and acted in various productions at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre – most notably West Side Story and Jesus Christ Superstar – and also performed and directed at Harbour, Roleystone, Old Mill and Melville Theatres.

Last year, Dhu directed Summer of the Seventeenth Doll at the Old Mill Theatre, winner of several Milly Awards.

Closer interested me because it kind of reflected a difficult period in my life,” he said.

“I wanted to express this somehow and an international author recommended Patrick Marber’s play to me.”

Closer plays at 8pm June 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24 and 25 with 2pm matinees June 12 and 19. Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book at or on 9367 8719. Please note: the play features strong adult language and themes.

The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road, South Perth (opposite the Windsor Hotel and Australia Post).



closer1: Georgina Hamer, left, Jeffrey Watkins, Anna Head and Dylan James are in appearing in Patrick Marber’s Closer.

closer2: Larry (Dylan James) and Anna (Anna Head) find fate changes in an instant in Closer at the Old Mill Theatre.

clsoer3: Dan (Jeffrey Watkins) and Anna (Anna Head) explore the raw nerve of pain that comes with love in Patrick Marber’s Closer.

closer4: Dylan James and Georgina Hamer explore lust, dishonesty and betrayal in Patrick Marber’s Closer.

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Old Mill Theatre

South Perth's Old Mill Theatre is fortunate to be operating out of one of the most historic buildings in South Perth. It was opened in 1899 as a Mechanics' Institute Hall. The South Perth Council purchased the building in 1913 and renamed it the Mends Street Hall. The council still owns the building, and supports our use of it.

The building first became a home of theatre in 1948, when the South Perth Dramatic Society moved in. The name Old Mill Theatre was first used in 1958, and the company was incorporated in 1959. In 2009, the theatre celebrated its 60th anniversary.

A number of significant changes to the building have occurred over the past few years, with major extensions completed in 2002. An understage tunnel, which links two backstage dressing rooms and enables easier access from one side of the stage to the other, was completed in 2008. Bathroom facilities have also been installed backstage as part of this project, which was wholly self-funded.

The Old Mill Theatre is fortunate to have strong support from its local council, the City of South Perth. The city undertook major renovations to the exterior of the building in 2008 and the theatre is looking better now than ever before.

Trevor Dhu
P: 0409 373 374


Closer, Patrick Marber, Old Mill Theatre, play, love, lust, sex, betrayal, performing arts, stage



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