• “Patrick Marber’s Closer is a sad, savvy, often funny play that casts a steely, unblinking gaze at the world of relationships and lets you come to your own conclusions. (…) Marber tells his story in short, staccato scenes in which the unsaid talks as loudly as the said. The dialogue is almost entirely stichomythic, the occasional speech still not much longer than a few lines. There are frequent pauses, but not of the Pinteresque variety — more like skipped heartbeats. (…) Closer does not merely hold your attention; it burrows into you.” – John Simon, New York 
  • “(A) powerful, darkly funny play about the cosmic collision between the sun of love and the comet of desire. (…) The key element in pornography is the absence of love. What’s new about Closer is that it’s a play about love that’s fighting fiercely not to become pornography — or a play merely about lust, about appetite.” – Jack Kroll, Newsweek 
  • Closer is a bruising dissection of modern relationships, in which sex is the subject even when it’s not, honesty is frequently not the best policy, and people with choices almost always make the wrong one. (…) Closer is such a shrewd piece of contempo-realism that its shortcomings as drama might be overlooked. (…) Like a skilled hooker,Closer is satisfying mainly in the moment; as a lasting experience, it leaves something to be desired.” – Richard Zoglin, Time 
  • “Love, here, is founded on deception and lies. Each character assembles fictions — from photographs or writing, pornography or personal history — but, in so doing, they also steal from each other. (…) Marber’s thematic material is intricate and always intelligently handled, but he is inclined to overstatement. (…) (T)he power-struggles in the quest for love, the damage inflicted by them and the ultimate disillusionment of the lovers all ring true; Closer is both absorbing and funny.” – Lucy Atkins, Times Literary Supplement 
  • “(T)he piece is Les Liaisons dangereuses with the moral component removed, carried on in the alternately blunt and secretive spirit of a cutthroat bridge tournament. As in his earlier play, Dealer’s Choice, Marber is sharply observant in mapping the clashes that arise as his compulsively faithless characters dive eagerly toward their next betrayal. As before, he’s less sharp in finding a dramatic shape for his observations.” – Michael Feingold, The Village Voice

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That very Australian of afflictions

That very Australian of afflictions


I just saw this animated short on SBS after South Park – I didn’t see the very beginning so spent the first half trying to work out what it was advertising!! Makes me wonder what to do about it…. move to the bush?  And get burned to the ground….

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His work is incredible – have a look at http://www.slinkachu.com

The kettle had been boiling over when Claudia was unlocking the front door of the shop that day, and the water had spilled onto the bench and onto pages 97 and 98 of Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”.  Claudia had taken the book from the Classics shelf and felt glad that at least it was a second hand bookshop that she owned; at least she could still sell the books after she’d spilled strawberry jam or coffee on their pages.  She loved every book in her shop and said a quiet goodbye to each one when, on the rare occasion, someone bought one.  But her love for books didn’t cure her clumsiness.  She’d lost count of how many of her books had gone to a watery grave as she fell asleep in the bath.

 

Despite not having had a customer for three full days, nor making any more money than she would have paid herself, if business was good, Claudia made sure she opened the front doors and put out the sandwich board – “Books Bought, Books Sold”, at precisely 9am each day.  She felt hopeful that someone would notice.  Surely someone, in this town of 20,000 people, woke up one morning and thought ‘I’ll go into the bookshop today’.  It was important that that person, if they wanted, could cross the threshold at the advertised opening hour of 9am.

 

Claudia’s shop had been a house once, it was obvious.  The front door of the terrace led directly down a long hallway, with all the rooms on the right.  The front room was large, with a high ceiling – it had once been two rooms, Claudia thought.  Someone had taken out the middle wall.  There were two fireplaces, two doors and two ceiling roses.  There were two more rooms out the back, one she used as a storeroom and the other had a sink and stove in it. 

Not sure where this bit will go –

Claudia stared at her hands, one resting on top of the other the way they’d been told to hold them during school assemblies.  Her top hand was shaking, slightly, as if it was just a little too cold.  Her heart sobbed, with a depth that reminded her of a heavy wooden table being dragged across floorboards.  Long, mournful strokes, deep, gutteral wails.  She tortured herself with visions, visions of him curled up, on his side, one arm firmly around the waist of –her-, pulling her in to him.  He buried his face in the back of her neck.  Claudia knew this was unlikely to be happening at this very moment, but she mourned it as if the two of them were laid out in front of her, in this very room.  It was most likely that he was sitting on his back step, not missed by her, she who slept the sleep of the oblivious. 

 

The reality of the situation had slapped her in the face from the very beginning, from the first day the bell had jingled and he’d stuck his wet head into the shop, hair plastered down over his temples by the rain.  She knew that.  She knew she’d pulled the wool over her own eyes.  But she was seething, boiling with the anger and frustration – he had not played the game fairly.  He had not filled the role of a married man.  He was her accomplice in her own heartbreak.