Patrick Marber Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Patrick Marber is known principally as a dramatist, but he has written extensively for British radio and television programs such as On the Hour, After Miss Julie, The Day Today, Knowing Me Knowing You, Paul Calf Video Diary, and Pauline Calf Video Diary. Marber has also written for periodicals such as the daily newspaper the Observer, for which he wrote opinion and editorial columns.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Patrick Marber’s first play, Dealer’s Choice, was first produced in the Cottesloe Auditorium of the Royal National Theatre in London in February of 1995. Dealer’s Choice won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Comedy and the Writer’s Guild Award for Best West End Play. In May of 1997, Marber’s second play, Closer, premiered at the Royal National Theatre. Closer won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Comedy and the Critics’ Circle Best Play Award. In 1997, Closer received the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award given out by the Society of West End Theatre for the best new play. In March of 1999, Closer premiered on Broadway in New York, where it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play. Closer was nominated for a Tony Award.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Brustein, Robert. “Two Moral X-rays.” The New Republic (June 28, 1999): 36. This critic submits that Marber’s Closer is the most interesting new British play since Harold Pinter’s first productions. Closer portrays the manipulation and shallowness of four characters attempting to find new meaning through switching partners and experimenting with new identities.

Iverne, James. “Closer to the Bone.” Time International 157 (June 25, 2001): 64. Argues that Marber’s new play, Howard Katz, should earn him a ranking as the most promising young British playwright to come along in many years. The new play has less humor and is a more direct, raw confrontation with the issues that define human struggle.

Kellaway, Kate. “Closer.” New Statesman 127 (May 1, 1996): 51-52. Claims that Marber is an outstanding writer of dialogue like earlier playwright Harold Pinter, who introduced an original style when he slowed dialogue down, skimming fat from it. Pinter’s characters were often inarticulate and repetitive, but in the silence between the lines there was a world. Marber speeds dialogue up and shows how this is a mirror of modern life.

Kroll, Jack. “Porn o’ Plenty.” Newsweek 133 (April 5, 1999): 70-71. This regular theater critic laments the fact that explicit language and sexual themes have found their way into mainstream theater productions on Broadway. In the critic’s view, Marber’s play Closer brought the most graphic dialogue ever heard on a Broadway stage to New York, although it is a darkly funny and a powerful statement about the lack of love to be found among modern intimates.