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Closer at Old Mill Theatre

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Powerful and pertinent passion play
Closer, Patrick Marber, Old Mill Theatre, play, love, lust, sex, betrayal, performing arts, stage
Georgina Hamer, left, Jeffrey Watkins, Anna Head and Dylan James are in appearing in Patrick Marber's Closer.

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, Patrick Marber, Old Mill Theatre, play, love, lust, sex, betrayal, performing arts, stage
Larry (Dylan James) and Anna (Anna Head) find fate changes in an instant in Closer at the Old Mill Theatre.

"Closer is like watching life through a voyeuristic point of view and sharing the sex, lust and loss," Trevor 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, Trveor 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, Trevor 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, Patrick Marber, Old Mill Theatre, play, love, lust, sex, betrayal, performing arts, stage
Dylan James and Georgina Hamer explore lust, dishonesty and betrayal in Patrick Marber's Closer.

Georgina Hamer plays Alice, a flirtatious and seductive young woman. "She is one of the most intriguing characters I have ever been given the opportunity to play," she said. "Alice has the ability to tell extravagant lies one minute and the undeniable truth the next.

"She is someone who will love unconditionally and wishes to be loved unconditionally in return. But she is more than capable of closing off her feelings at a precise moment, should she deem it necessary. It's these traits that make her intriguing, loveable and confusing, all at the same time."

Making her debut at the Old Mill Theatre in the early 2000s in A Chorus Line, Georgina has also appeared at Stirling Theatre in Seussical The Musical and the Dolphin Theatre in Greenwicks, which received two Finley Award nominations. She also won Storm The Stage in 2004 when it was a statewide competition and has also performed at Sydney's Star Casino.

"The main appeal of Closer was the character of Alice," Gerogina said. "But I also love the complexity and showcase of lust and the human instinct. It's been so long since I've been up on the stage solely acting I'm of a musical theatre background so I had to dig deep to find the courage to even audition.

"Now it's a challenge of sourcing all the parts necessary to make Alice part of me. I want my portrayal to be as organic as possible. So finding her within is going to be my biggest challenge."

Closer, Patrick Marber, Old Mill Theatre, play, love, lust, sex, betrayal, performing arts, stage
Dan (Jeffrey Watkins) and Anna (Anna Head) explore the raw nerve of pain that comes with love in Patrick Marber's Closer.

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 oldmilltheatre.com.au/tickets 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).
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Why? It's a powerful and pertinent play about the distance between men and women and the restless neediness of love.
When: 8pm June 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24 & 25; 2pm June 12 & 19
Phone: 9367 8719
Where: Old Mill Theatre, Mends Street, South Perth
Cost: $25, $20 concession
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